The Kitchen is based on the DC Vertigo comics by the same name. It follows three wives turned gangsters who take over for their husbands when they’re sent to jail. I was unaware that the film was based on a comic. While I think that this concept would make a great comic, it sadly did not make a great movie.
The Kitchen is directed by Andrea Berloff - a first time director (also the writer of Straight Outta Compton) who unfortunately doesn’t seem to find her footing throughout the film. The all-embracing tone felt very all over the place, from the beginning of the film focusing on feminism and bonding to instantaneously evolving to focus more on the romance between Claire and Gabe with a cinematic change to show off their love.
The Kitchen has good potential for plot but is too rushed for the length of the film. This film could’ve been a lot better if lengthened - which makes sense considering it’s based on comics. It feels like it was chopped up, almost like I’m missing something by maybe not picking up on the relationships between characters. But yet again I think that has to do with being based on comics. The editors/writers choice to do cuts between each character’s story (i.e. from Claire to Ruby) felt very jarring a majority of the time as well, which I felt took me out of the movie.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
This film was lacking a lot for me but it was truly saved by the acting. That was the only thing keeping me in the seat before the end of the film, with Domnhall Gleeson being the primary saving grace. His character was interesting, funny, and he played him well. Melissa McCarthy was definitely the most disappointing. After Can You Ever Forgive Me?, I expected a much better performance from her. This one felt very forced and unnatural. Elizabeth Moss was good as usual, but her character suffered from poor lines in the script. I found myself rolling my eyes a majority of the time when she spoke. Tiffany Haddish was very average. Her character reminded me a lot of Dina from Girls Trip, which again, I felt she was just average in.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The music choice was very all over the place and felt very mainstream. The constant use of 'The Chain' by Fleetwood Mac got very tiring for me. I remember when it started playing it was very jarring and I felt completely pulled out of every scene with music. I believe it has to do with what the music choice was - and choosing music with words over top of scenes is always a risk; this one did not pay off for them.
The special effects were decent in this film, but I do have to say my biggest complaint is that it has a lot of head shots throughout, with the splatters seeming unusually runny. Otherwise I have no complaints about the special effects, as nothing really stands out and it was super average.
Even though this film is receiving a half, I really did not enjoy this movie. The only thing I truly enjoyed about this film was the acting. Sadly The Kitchen has a lot of wasted talent on a poor script and strange direction. All the more reason to avoid seeing this one until it’s the very last option on your Netflix queue.