Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Kitchen (2019)

It’s not easy being a single-income family.  If anything should happen to that source of income, things can be difficult for the entire family.  This is no different for criminals.  Jimmy Brennan, Rob Walsh and Kevin O’Carroll are members of the Irish Mob.  They get arrested by the FBI while robbing a convenience store, leaving their respective wives in the lurch.   The Mob helps with finances, but it’s not enough.  Kathy Brennan, Claire Walsh and Ruby O’Carroll decide to take things into their own hands.

This might sound like the basis of an exciting movie.  And it is, to an extent.  Or, at least, it could be.  Some of the plot twists, you can see coming.  They work with various other members of the organization until the organization puts pressure on them to stop.  Others seem contrived or forced.  Ruby, a black woman, has a racist mother-in-law to contend with.  The entire dynamic seems a bit much.

It would also seem that the movie would end one of two ways.  Either the women end up dead or everyone else does.  At times, it seemed like it was difficult to tell which way it was going.  They would do very well.  Then, they’d face a big setback, which they would deal with.

Most of the movie is the three women working their way up.  They collect protection money from places where the Mob hasn’t been protecting so well.  They earn respect, expand their territory and take on another mob.  It eventually comes to a head when the husbands are released early, but the women are good at what they do.

Comparisons to Widows aren’t undeserved.  Both movies involve a group of women who have to step up in the absence of their criminal husbands.  With The Kitchen, they’re not as reluctant, but the basic storyline would seem to be the same.

The movie seemed haphazard, though.  It was as if someone took episodes of a TV show and put them in a blender.  It was coherent, but it was all over the place.  The women start off struggling, but not a lot was shown to establish this.  (We see Kathy go on one job interview.)  Then, they extort money.  (So, Claire needs a little encouragement, but goes all in after that.)  They do what they have to until the husbands get out.  Again, they do what’s necessary to survive.

I think the movie could have been done better.  It almost looks like there’s enough material for two or three movies here.  It seemed to me like half the movie was missing.  I might have had the first movie be the women hitting rock bottom before making their way alone and the second movie dealing with the husbands getting out and the women going all in.  I would say that this is a good movie to maybe check out of the library one night.

IMDb page

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