From The Morton Blog

Blu-ray Review: The Kitchen (2019)

Dull and confusing, this one at least boasts a killer soundtrack!

By , Contributor
So much talent, so little to show for it. New to Blu-ray (also standard DVD and Digital HD) from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment we have Oscar-nominated screenwriter Andrea Berloff's directorial debut The Kitchen. I wanted this to be great as soon as saw the trailer. Melissa McCarthy (in relatively rare straightahead dramatic mode), Tiffany Haddish (in even rarer straight dramatic mode), and Elisabeth Moss together in gritty, NYC-in-the-'70s adaption of the Vertigo Comics miniseries of the same name. And Berloff received an Oscar nomination for the gritty hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton in 2015. Seemed like a recipe for a potentially great film.

Instead we get a great soundtrack of late-'70s R&B and classic rock. The actresses work overtime to breath life into the limply-told tale of three Irish Mafia wives who take finances into their own hands after their husbands are pinched. Turns out the new boss Little Jackie (Myk Watford) doesn't want to take care of the women as promised, reducing their promised living expenses to a mere stipend. Kathy (McCarthy), Ruby (Haddish), and Claire (Moss) they begin collecting fees from local businesses under mob protection themselves.

It's a confusing mess, with a story that is hard to follow. Even at a relatively tight 103 minutes, it feels like a three-hour drag. And it's ultimately sad seeing great actresses struggling so hard to figure out how to play their characters. A major character death/funeral sequence will likely leave viewers saying 'good riddance' then actually feeling the intended sympathy.

Blu-ray extras are limited to a single deleted scene (so don't expect to find any real insight as to where the good material ended up, assuming there was any) and a pair of typically hype-oriented EPK-style featurettes.

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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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