𝐃𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐬 (laughing) with his face busted: “What is this, good cop, bad cop?”– Robocop, 2014
𝐉𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐋𝐞𝐰𝐢𝐬: “Nah, Daniels, Bad Cop, Robocop”
𝐷𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑦𝑒𝑟 does to 𝐍𝐢𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐊𝐢𝐝𝐦𝐚𝐧 what 𝑀𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟, 2003 did to 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐧. But still, director 𝐊𝐚𝐫𝐲𝐧 𝐊𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐚 pulls her punches and Kidman, despite the director Kusama’s 𝐾𝑢𝑏𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑘𝑖𝑎𝑛 reputation of beating them actors down, Kidman is let off easy in this grueling neo-noir crime film (not that she didn’t try but the script hardly holds up to the transformation of Kidman. And that perhaps, is why, the film crumbles under its own weight or lack thereof, which is comparable to the scheme of intention or state of affairs explored by 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐧 𝐊𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐚 in his book, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Would man (or woman – hashtags scare me) be able to survive without the weight of life pressing down on his (or her – they petrify me) shoulders? The 𝐕𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐤𝐡/𝐂𝐳𝐞𝐜𝐡 philosopher-writer is of the opinion that 𝐃𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐞𝐥 𝐃𝐚𝐲-𝐋𝐞𝐰𝐢𝐬 cannot; there has to be something to motivate the character of 𝐓𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐬; keep him going (“Strip!”), in order to survive we must burden ourselves with the mundanity of it all to endure, to pull through all the way to the end of the glass that carries the milkshake.
Never have I watched Kidman give so much to a character, Dogville, 2003 could be an exception but then it was 𝐯𝐨𝐧-𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐫 himself behind the camera and all over the minimalist set, a non-existent set.
Down on her luck and Afflicted by misfortune, brought upon by herself, Agent Bell; the world-weary undercover cop 𝐄𝐫𝐢𝐧 𝐁𝐞𝐥𝐥, partners with 𝐁𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐲 to take down a gang of bank robbers (not half as cool as 𝐁𝐨𝐝𝐡𝐢’s gang) since the time they are mere teenagers; well the anti-aging CGI is such (on Kidman); re-conciliate with an estranged daughter, give a handjob to a man on his death bed and also hide the stash that belongs to 𝐁𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲. The performances, especially that of Kidman, are uncompromising and unrecognizable, with our Hollywood A-lister as the central character, around whom the film is being composed.
A draining narrative that leaves a lasting impact; a feeling (which is quite common among the keen viewers) that what they just watched was something that is nothing short of an extremely intense picture that demands a whole lot from its players. And they deliver in their own ways. And this is one of those rare films where Kidman has decided to go all method to add to the character’s tough disposition. A skin specially put on for The Destroyer; rearranging the layers and letting the anguish inside rear its ugly head and it bloody well shows on the disheveled, needs more sleep, sunken dark eyes, worn out and knackered face, shattered by what she has to deal with on a daily basis.
Kasuma simply must watch Bad Lieutenant, 1992 or Mandy, 2018 by 𝐀𝐛𝐞𝐥 𝐅𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐚 & Panos Cosmatos, respectively and see what it is to deconstruct before an audience; watch as 𝐇𝐚𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐲 𝐊𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐥 rocks and sways buck naked into a room and empties a bottle of whiskey just because a nun was put through some nasty as heck shit, just like 𝐍𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐂𝐚𝐠𝐞 in Mandy, 2018. And the nun forgives her tormentors but Keitel just can’t. It’s as personal to him as the face recognition feature on the iPhone 67.
All Destroyer needs is some more conviction in “dragging an anchor“, “look like shit”; have a really loathsome, vicious, cruel, appalling series of events unfold and then back to the damn skateboard, this time with an almost perfect hardflip, all the way to the skis and dreaming of 𝐁𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐲 𝐁𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐬 and vengeance on the man who started it all; 𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐲 𝐑𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐤𝐞. That is an old running joke. If you are a regular, you will be on it sooner than later.
The film is streaming here on Netflix and a copy can be bought by clicking on the image above or leaving a comment in the section below and ordering the original Blu-ray through the blog