A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.
Here is my review of DESTROYER.
Destroyer follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past.
Nicole Kidman’s tremendous range shown in her Big Little Lies role, The Boy Erased and Aquaman are fully trumped by her performance in DESTROYER. The worn-down detective looking to correct her one misstep as an undercover agent is one of the year’s best roles. Writers Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, Director Karyn Kusama and editor Plummy Tucker all showcase their fulfilled talents only briefly highlighted in their earlier more horror filled work. If Denzel Washington’s role in Training Day was heralded as career redefining than so to can this be that for Nicole Kidman. There isn’t a moment where she doesn’t command your attention on-screen. Her eyes become the heart of the film. A cold-blacken heart that barely is still beating strong enough to help her fend off the uber-violence of her past. Surrounded by a stellar cast this film is a real treat and should highlight Kusama as a new force in the strong women director movement that hopefully takes over.
The beautiful LA cinematography of Julie Kirkwood doesn’t showcase the usual tourist feel of LA shot films. But the movie comes down to the pacing made perfect by Kusama and Editor Plummy Tucker’s slow reveal of what all is happening. The movie isn’t as mysterious as lets say Usual Suspects but it does share those moments of what you have seen is not what it really appears to be. Kidman’s ability to step back-and-forth into the flashback moments and her current time-frame detective work is just heart pounding.
Award worthy performance from Kidman on top of admiral work all the way round makes this the first real treat of 2019. Don’t miss Destroyer.
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