Review of THE KITCHEN – Rated R – 1 hr. 42 mins.

THe Kitchen

This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser 


THE KITCHEN – Rated R – 1 hr. 42 mins.

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Andrea Berloff

WRITERS:  Ollie Masters & Ming Doyle (Comic Book Series)

STARRING:  Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Brian d’Arcy James, Margo Martindale, Jeremy Bobb, Common and Bill Camp

Welcome to the movie version of Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle’s comic book escapades, known by the same name, and brought to the big screen by Writer (Straight Outta Compton and World Trade Center) and debut Director this time around too, Andrea Berloff.

Berloff takes us instantly into the lives of New York Mafia underlings Kevin O’Carroll (James Badge Dale), Jimmy Brennan (Brian D’Arcy James) and Rob Walsh (Jeremy Bobb), who have managed to find themselves under investigation by FBI Agent Gary Silvers (Common), who manages to send our boys up river, leaving their wives, and families in the lurch, to fend for themselves.

When Kathy Brennan (Melissa McCarthy) decides to take her families future into her own hands, as she’s tired of waiting for the her hubby’s fellow Mobster associates to get them what they need, it seems that Kevin’s wife Ruby (Tiffany Haddish), and Rob’s wife Claire (Elisabeth Moss) are totally on board with Kathy’s plan and how to make ends meet…

Taking on racket their hubby’s have in place, and actually doing a better job of keeping the neighborhood safe, Kathy, Ruby and Claire soon find that they can totally keep this racket, and their lives, rolling along.

But as our ladies soon find, being a Mobster Mama isn’t a totally easy gig, although the neighborhood is coming around to their point of view, from them providing superior protection than what the business owners were experiencing before.  But, before all is well, it seems that  our ladies will have to circumvent interference from Ruby’s wicked old Mother in Law, Helen  (Margo Martindale), and the head of the Hell’s Kitchen mob, Little Jackie (Myk Watford), who seems to have lost most of his power around the hood…

But sometimes a lady still needs a male companion around…enter Gabriel O’Malley (Domhnall Gleeson), who is quite smitten it seems with Claire, even though he’s come on the scene to be the heavy for all the ladies, taking care of the pricks that keep getting in their way.

Now, as Kathy, Ruby and Claire continue to make their way about Hell’s Kitchen, it seems that the Brooklyn Mafia has come a calling, with Alfonso Coretti (Bill Camp) feeling the pressure from their control too, thus adding more drama to this situation, than even Kathy had bargained for…

I give THE KITCHEN a rating of 3.5 out of 5 – Blessed with the perfect trifecta of casting, with McCarthy, Haddish and Moss leading this film, Berloff makes her directing debut, bringing THE KITCHEN comic book series to life.  McCarthy shows once again that she can venture into powerful and dramatic roles, as this performance comes on the heels of her break-out dramatic role in last years Can You Ever Forgive Me?  Tiffany Haddish is flexing her acting chops throughout this film too, veering from her comedic roles (which I absolutely love to see her do), to taking a more commanding and powerful presence on screen which she proves, she is totally fabulous at too.  But the most impressive, and disturbing performance this time around for me, came from Elisabeth Moss, as her battered wife turned flagrant, dismembering killer, turns out to be the most intense performance you will find throughout this film.  So, with all those accolades, why not give this film a perfect score? With the premise harkening back to last year’s WIDOWS, I was hoping for the same intensity, and woman-power vibe, which never truly arrives.  Sadly, it seems that The Kitchen just couldn’t get all the burners lit at the same time, and even though there are some fabulous moments throughout from everyone on screen, it just couldn’t truly, pick up enough steam for me.  I totally felt like this film had lots of potential going in with its incredible cast, but the intensity throughout totally wains, that is until Moss and her “violent crazy” is filling up the screen.   Suffice to say, I enjoyed the premise and the performances throughout this film, it just left me waiting and longing for more, when it was all said and done…

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