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Film / The Drop

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The Drop is a 2014 crime film directed by Michaël R. Roskam and starring James Gandolfini (in his final role before his death), Tom Hardy, and Noomi Rapace.

"Cousin Marv" and Bob (James and Tom respectively) work at a bar Cousin Marv used to own, until he lost it to Chechen mobsters. Their bar is occasionally the drop bar for a given night's mob money. Their lives become complicated when they get robbed, and the Chechens suspect they might be working with the thieves. To add to their woes, Bob finds and rescues a beaten dog thrown into a woman's dumpster. Bob befriends Nadia (Noomi) in the process, only for the dog's former owner, a drug-addled psychopath who claims to have murdered a friend of theirs in the past, to come into the picture.

This film is the last one that James Gandolfini acted in, having died of heart complications the same year. It was well-received, and currently holds 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Has nothing to do with the freeware Roguelike that has the same name and is the sequel to The Reconstruction.

The film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The film is based on Dennis Lehane's short story 'Animal Rescue', but adds several new plot details, such as the robbery near the start, police investigation, and Marv's death.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The dog is called Cassius in the short story, but Rocco in the film.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Bob shuffles around slowly, has an awkward speech pattern, lacks understanding of some basic social cues, and seems to have trouble looking at people directly for very long (especially avoiding extended eye contact). Hardy has said that he played the character as having a mild form of autism.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Not only does Eric Deeds beat Rocco, he threatens to get the police to take him away from Bob since he's still the legal owner, and starve and beat him unless Bob pays $10,000.
  • Asshole Victim: Eric Deeds is an abusive scumbag with a long criminal record and underlying mental issues. He also enjoys abusing animals and women. It's therefore incredibly satisfying when Bob finally shoots him in the face.
  • Batman Gambit: Marv's assassination scheme requires that his target initially resist getting into the car, close the trunk improperly, agree to get into the car, agree to close the trunk, and follow his directions to get directly behind the car.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Bob, who, though meek, rarely gets rattled. And when he's given reason to fear for those he loves? Watch out. Detective Torres even says that because of his quiet nature, nobody ever sees Bob coming.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bob ends up with the bar to himself, and Eric will never bother Nadia again, but Cousin Marv is dead and Detective Torres implies that he knows who really killed Richie and Eric.
  • Brick Joke: Eric steals Bob's umbrella even though it's a sunny day, saying, "You never know." In a following scene shortly thereafter, it's raining.
  • Cement Shoes: To get rid of a severed arm someone left in a bag, Bob wraps and weighs it down and throws it in the river.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: There's a lot of swearing in the film.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: Eric Deeds is known around the area as the man who killed Richie Whelan, a fact he uses to intimidate people and strongarm them into doing what he wants, including Bob. It later turns out that Bob was the one who really killed Richie, with Eric only claiming to have done it in order to advance his street cred. And while Bob could've revealed at any time that he knew Eric was lying, he only waits to do it moments before killing him, possibly to let him know what a fatal mistake he's made.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Bob is a sweet, meek, mild man. He is also an ice-cold killer when he has to be, and is a far faster draw than Eric Deeds…
  • Cuteness Proximity: Bob goes practically gooey during his scenes with Rocco. A bit of Reality Subtext there, as Tom Hardy is a dog lover who adored the puppy, played with it constantly during filming, and even convinced the crew to let him take it home with him at night.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A lot of focus is given to an oil tank in Bob's basement. It turns out to have the remains of Richie Whelan festering inside.
    • Bob is shown expertly wrapping a human arm in cling film as if it were a piece of meat, and Marv points out that Bob seems to know what he's doing. He probably does, because it later turns out he had previously killed Richie Whelan, and had likely chopped him up before sealing him inside an oil tank in his basement.
  • Karmic Death: Eric Deeds is known around the neighborhood as the guy who allegedly murdered a local kid back in the day, something he uses to make people fear him. He's shot to death by Bob, who turns out to be the real murderer. Eric simply lied about the killing to enhance his street cred.
  • Karmic Thief: Cousin Marv thought he was this since the stolen money was from mob business. Turns out they were on to him the entire time, eventually having him whacked.
  • Hidden Depths: Bob. The reason he never takes communion? He still feels guilty over murdering the guy "Glory Days".
  • Insistent Terminology: With hints of Distracting Disambiguation. Cousin Marv calls them Chechnyans, and Bob corrects that they're Chechens. Cousin Marv even uses this on another character later.
  • Kick the Dog: Literally. Eric Deeds beat Rocco and then dumped him into Nadia's garbage can.
  • Loan Shark: Cousin Marv used to be one.
  • The Mafiya: Chechen, but still.
  • Mugging the Monster: A rare case where this trope is used as The Reveal rather than an Establishing Character Moment: Eric Deeds tries to strongarm Bob, but Bob reveals that he's been an ice-cold killer this whole time.
  • Nice Guy: Bob is a shy and friendly guy who wants nothing more than to leave his criminal past behind, especially after rescuing Rocco and forming a bond with Nadia. Even after it's revealed that he murdered Richie Whelan, it remains obvious that he's not really a bad person at heart.
  • Oh, Crap!: A subtle one. When Bob says he killed a guy in the past, Eric's expression noticeably changes to this for a moment, because in truth he's only lying about having killed someone while Bob has just revealed himself to be the real deal.
  • Papa Bear: Bob to animals and Nadia. Near the end of the film:
    Nadia: You just… I mean, you just fucking shot him.
    Bob: Yes, I did. Absolutely. He was gonna hurt our dog.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "I killed Richie Wheelan, alright?" "Sure you did." [bang]
  • Properly Paranoid: Marv is stopped in the street by a stranger who asks him for directions to the hospital. However, the randomness of this act causes Marv to become paranoid that the Chechens are watching him and even discusses it with Bob, who simply brushes off his concerns. As it turns out, said stranger does indeed work for the Chechens, and is the one they send to execute Marv when they discover he's been ripping them off.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Bob gives one to Deeds, notably revealing that Deeds lied about killing Glory Days, and that Bob was the actual murderer. He tops it off with shooting him dead on the spot, drawing faster, and ranting at the corpse about how disrespectful he was to Nadia.
  • Recovered Addict: Nadia cleaned up after leaving a (drug) abusive boyfriend.
  • Retired Monster: As it turns out, Bob himself is one, having been a cold-blooded killer in the past.
  • Robbing the Mob Bank: "The drop" is filled with mob money, so if you know where it is on any given day, you can make a lot of money, provided you're willing to accept the risk.
  • The Reveal: Bob turns out to have been the one who killed Richie Whelan, as Eric was locked up back when Richie disappeared.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Eric antagonises Bob at every opportunity, even after Marv warns him that Bob is not someone to be fucked with. He even attempts to steal the mob money stashed in the safe beneath the bar, which is a monumentally stupid idea by itself (though he was working with Marv on that one.) Quite predictably, it doesn't end well for him, as he's so confident in his macho, tough-guy act that he doesn't even see it coming when Bob suddenly draws a gun and blows his brains out.
    • Cousin Marv counts as well. He tries to have his own bar robbed of the mob's money so he can retire on it, because he's still bitter that the Chechens took ownership of the bar away from him. When Bob figures out what he's up to, he tells him he should simply let it go for fear of repercussions. He doesn't, and when the mob realise what he's been doing, they have him executed in his car.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When someone refuses to get into Marv's car, he sarcastically asks if he thinks the trunk is lined with plastic. Later, Marv actually does line his trunk with plastic, though to kill a different person.
  • The Stoic: Bob. His reticence and unflappability are both noted several times.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: "Glory Days", Bob and Cousin Marv's dead friend, was one. To Cousin Marv. Bob killed him because Marv was also in debt from gambling, and Glory Days having won the lottery and paid his debts presented an opportunity.
  • Villain Respect: While Chovka is a dangerous gangster, he seems to have some small degree of respect for Bob, or at the very least, he respects him more than he does Marv. When Bob executes a man who tried to steal the mob's money, Chovka realises Marv was behind it and has him killed, before allowing Bob to take over the bar for them.