Crime tales are ones the American public drinks up, with the promise of a dark tale with tons of drama to drink up. Yet, not every tale has the makings of a legendary film like the Godfather, trying too hard or going too political that it becomes a giant statement that is not entertaining to many. So today’s movie had me concerned that a political thriller was on our way and potentially a slow-moving film like Widows before it. Can an all-star cast and the mistakes from the last attempt be learned, or are we going to be stuck with a carbon copy cinematic mess? Robbie is back to give you another review and this time on:
Movie: The Kitchen (2019)
Story telling Component
The Drama and Twists
The Sound Track
A Little Boring
Longer Than It should have been
The Non-Centered Antagonist
For a movie set in a specific time and place, The Kitchen accomplishes the task of stepping back into the past. Costumes, editing of footage, and props once more teleports us to the America of the past and brings you into the harsh streets of the Kitchen and it’s denizens. While the setting helps add a story telling element, the reality is the Kitchen has a decent story component to it. Like the Godfather, but not as monumental, The Kitchen is a story of family, power, and threats as the various pieces move about in the fight for territory and respect. A character centric story, the movie focuses much on the three primary characters, each going through their own struggles as they try to push their own agendas into the mix. It’s those dramatic, character developing arcs that seem to criss cross quite nicely, leading to subplots that actually do well to connect into the grander story line, and brings a few twists to the mix to jazz up the linear plot and help give that dynamic of the mafia family. It works well, and the acting in particular manages to bring the characters to full life, each bringing a unique style to the character that helps add the personality a film like this needs. McCarthy was my favorite, but Haddish was amazing, casting her sass in a new light that was less funny and more threatening. Without these ladies bringing their A game the movie may have suffered a lot more. Of note, the sound track was probably my favorite thing, classic 60s-70s songs coming in hard to give the emotional flare and toe tapping mixes that I love to see in a film, after all who does not like a good Fleetwood Mac song?
Yet, the movie still suffers a bit from some other components that did not quite entertain me. First off, the movie suffers from linearity and predictable components. From the moment the tides change you can see the ending coming a mile way, the Shakespearian plot elements beginning to fall into place. As such, waiting for the ending was a little boring, stuck in the artistic and political components that it was a little slow and drawn out for me. It felt much longer than the actual run time and I did not quite get into the film as much as I wanted too. Perhaps a few shoot outs, a job gone wrong, or even some sort of defense to get the plot moving. Instead, the political moments of the tale comes breaking right in to take center stage. The Kitchen is not the most preach from soap box delivery I have seen, but the focus on the various battle of sexes and girl power motif could have been curbed a little more to not deviate from the story components I enjoyed. In addition, the movie suffers from the non-centered antagonist, choosing to go more towards a symbolic route, that possessed various characters that were more of a throw away than meaningful inclusion. Had there been a bad guy to ultimately focus on, we might have had an easier time keeping things moving.
Overall, the Kitchen is a good portrayal of being able to dive back into history and uncovering stories that are believable, dramatic, and the crime family aspect we love. The three leading ladies are truly the stars that made it special with me alongside character centric stories that will appeal to those who like books or character focused shows. Yet, the movie is still not quite the spectacle I was hoping for, getting caught in the symbology and politics that lead to rush plot elements and lacking suspense. Thus, this film holds favor at watching at home or out with a girls night group rather than on the big screen.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0