“The Kitchen” is a crime drama written and directed by Andrea Berloff. It is adapted from a comic miniseries from DC Vertigo written by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. A trio of pretty talented actresses star in this one. Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elizabeth Moss play three wives whose husbands are in the Irish mob of the region of New York known as Hell’s Kitchen. The three men get pinched by the feds and sent in prison leaving an opportunity for the women to start running the show.
This is another film with a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to enjoyment. First of all, the casting was very well done. I am not sure I remember seeing Haddish in a dramatic role before, however she was quite compelling in her role as Ruby O’Carroll, the only black woman in the midst of the Irish mob. McCarthy plays the brains of this outfit, Kathy Brennan while the part of Claire Walsh falls to Elizabeth Moss. Claire probably makes the most startling transformation from a meek, abused woman to the most lethal of the three.
The problems seem to come from the writing decisions though. The road to their success did not seem all that convincing though. The story takes place in 1978, so the chauvinism these three would have faced would probably have been even more formidable. Of course, I get that there is only about two hours to tell this tale, but I think the unfolding of this could have been presented a little better.
A couple of the guys in the cast gave some pretty interesting performances themselves. An Irish actor named Domhnall Gleeson was pretty good as hitman Gabriel O’Malley. He and Claire fall in love and seal it with a couple of kills. Bill Camp was also pretty fascinating as an Italian crime boss who goes into business with Kathy and company.
In spite of some misgivings about the writing here, the cast makes this quite watchable and fairly enjoyable even. The setting was quite convincing with a pretty catchy 70’s soundtrack. It was a flawed movie but a pretty interesting one.