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Posts Tagged ‘“Destroyer”’

Nicole Kidman

“DESTROYER” My rating: C-

120 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Virtually everything about “Destroyer” — from its title to the plotting, dialogue and star Nicole Kidman’s Oscar-bait makeup transformation — screams overstatement.

Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi and directed by Karyn Kusama, this joyless (and, let’s face it, off-putting) crime drama aspires to noir greatness but succeeds only in alienating with its blend of cliche and unearned angst.

Along the way it wastes Kidman, a hugely talented actress who here is limited to a sort of slow-burn psychosis.

When we first meet L.A. Police Det. Erin Bell (Kidman) she’s sleeping in her car, looking pretty much like death warmed over. Sunken eyes, sallow/blotchy skin, painfully projecting cheekbones, cracked lips.   Kidman is borderline unrecognizable; she could be a “Walking Dead” extra.

(In fact, we’re immediately reminded of Charlize Theron’s Oscar-winning uglying-down for “Monster.”)

Some 16 years ago Bell was part of an undercover operation that went horribly bad. Her partner Chris (played in flashbacks by Sebastian Stan) was killed by members of the bank robbery gang the two had infiltrated.

Now Bell receives a threat in the mail…a $100 bill stained with purple dye from that long-ago bank job.  It can only mean that Silas (Toby Kebbel), the gang leader who vanished shortly after the deadly heist, has returned to settle the score with Bell.

Bell has to get him first.

(more…)

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