Between 8th Ave. and the Hudson River, the Irish mafia runs 20 blocks of a tough New York City neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen. But for mob wives Kathy, Ruby and Claire, things are about to take a dramatic and radical turn. When the FBI sends their husbands to prison, the three women take business into their own hands by running the rackets and taking out the competition.
Plot: The wives of New York gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s continue to operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison.
Director: Andrea Berloff
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 102 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: With three talented leads struggling to prop up a sagging story, The Kitchen is a jumbled crime thriller in urgent need of some heavy-duty renovation.
“Solid acting trio, but sadly, a forgettable film.”
It would be a solid discussion anytime of the day to argue that one of the most challenging movies you can make is a gangster film. Many gangster movies in cinema history are held to the highest honor and you can’t help but compare them to each other every-time one comes out that adds to the genre. Sadly, The Kitchen adds to the genre in a less-impactful way.
Reiterating the plot: when the FBI sends their husbands to prison, three mob wives; Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elizabeth Moss) take business into their own hands by running the rackets and taking out the competition… literally. Unfortunately, it’s a tonal mess filled with parodies more often than I wish to note, and at times, it makes no sense. The two things that made the least sense to me were one, how easy the rise to power for the trio was, and two, how Claire transforms from a quiet, scared housewife into a reckless killing machine. Wait…. what? Did I miss something?
Are there below par elements to note in The Kitchen? Yes, but it isn’t full-blown awful and that’s due to the acting power of the main trio. I felt like McCarthy and Haddish were stereotyped in, which had me not taking them too seriously because there still were pieces of previously released comedic roles in the film. (We have seen Moss play darker roles in The Handmaids Tale & US, I just didn’t like the way she was portrayed in this one.) Beyond that, the fact that you care about the trio at all is why the movie isn’t a total failure — if this movie casted a less noticeable crew, this wouldn’t have landed in theaters.
Want my two-cents from a random person on the internet that likes to talk about film? This should have been tailored as a comedy-drama — not in the form of a “let’s poke fun at gangster films and not take anything seriously” film, but it needed to be something else.
In conclusion, let’s make this short and sweet — if you’re interested in checking out this movie, do yourself a favor and give it a rent, you can skip the purchase on this one. It’s not as horrible as some critics are making it out to be, but it is a one time watch at best. Black Friday is less than a month away and this will surely be discounted — if you want it now, you can grab it now at your local retailer, but I’d wait.
Did you catch The Kitchen in the theater? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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