Review: THE KITCHEN Needs A Little Remodeling, But It’s Still Watchable

FIRST IMPRESSION

THE KITCHEN is an overstuffed crime thriller that doesn't know what it wants to do with itself, but the performances from the central trio make the film watchable.
Directing
Writing
Acting
Technical Merit

The Kitchen has several good elements that aren’t put together in the best manner. Andrea Berloff, who co-wrote Straight Outta Compton, makes her directional debut here. Sadly, this late 1970’s crime thriller feels like it never goes anywhere.

Based on the DC Vertigo comic book miniseries, The Kitchen follows Claire, Kathy, and Ruby, the wives of New York mobsters, as they oversee the operations after their husbands are caught and sent to prison. Written and directed by Berloff, the film stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Common, Myk Watford, and Domhnall Gleeson. The Kitchen’s premise is similar to last year’s critically successful hit, Widows. Both films depict a group of women cleaning up the remains left by their significant others. However, while Widows knew what it wanted to do, The Kitchen struggles to find its footing and purpose.

Review: THE KITCHEN Needs A Little Remodeling, But It's Still Watchable 1
Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, and Melissa McCarthy in THE KITCHEN

Berloff did not write a film about three women baking in the kitchen, much to the surprise of no one if you saw the trailers. In the past, Berloff has participated in several moderately successful projects and even received an Oscar nomination for her contributions to 2015’s Straight Outta Compton. Her latest outing is a gritty 1970’s gangster movie set in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. The Kitchen’s screenplay is tense, violent and humorous at times, but this combination doesn’t flow that well on-screen.

Scenes go from being really intense one second to awkward and hysterical, which doesn’t work because it happens so fast. The tone of the film is inconsistent, which is fine in most cases, but The Kitchen isn’t balancing it out properly. The script feels overstuffed at points, as the conflict changes more than it should and the film continues this pattern up until the last few minutes. It becomes difficult to care about anything these women get involved in because not enough time is spent on any of the conflicts.

Regardless of that, the performances from Moss, McCarthy, and Haddish are so well done. Each woman starts out dependent on their husbands because that’s all they knew, but they all find their own independence in the end. McCarthy stars as Kathy, a mother who has issues with self-confidence. Moss stars as Claire, a woman who has suffered enough abuse and decides to get even. Haddish stars as Ruby, a very quiet individual who finds her voice and becomes fearless. With a cast including Haddish and McCarthy, there was no way the performances would be anything less than admirable.

Review: THE KITCHEN Needs A Little Remodeling, But It's Still Watchable 2
Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, and Elisabeth Moss in THE KITCHEN

Berloff shouldn’t call it quits as a director, but she should probably use this film to remind herself what not to do next time. As mentioned above, the tone of the film is horribly balanced. Berloff has the potential to do great work behind a camera, and there are a few instances of it here in The Kitchen. However, there are too many scenes and instances that feel out of place compared to what happened prior or mere seconds earlier. For instance, following a near-rape encounter, a laughable scene is then focused on for far too long, and it doesn’t gel well. The way it is shot makes it difficult to understand what direction the narrative is going to go in.

The Kitchen is constantly building towards something that never comes to fruition, and just when it seems like business is about to pick up….the credits appear. A well-acted gangster film that couldn’t seem to find its purpose is ultimately what it feels like, but thankfully, an ensemble trio of well-recognized actresses makes it all worth it. So, while The Kitchen isn’t a complete mess, it could use some cleaning here and there.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

The L Word: Generation Q LIVE from the Red Carpet | SHOWTIME

Join the cast of The L Word: Generation Q on the red carpet of the series premiere in Los Angeles and get an insider view of what to expect on the all new season! Returning cast Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey will resume their original roles. Don't miss the series premiere of The…

Black Lightning | Season 3 Episode 8 | The Book Of Resistance: Chapter Three Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of Black Lightning Tuesdays, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/genBLKyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About BLACK LIGHTNING: Jefferson Pierce is a man wrestling with a secret. Nine years ago, Pierce was gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, which he used to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked…

Jack Ryan Bathtub Fight | Prime Video

This, hands down, is one of the most insane fight scenes of the year. » Watch Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Season 2 now exclusively with your Prime Membership: http://bit.ly/TomClancysJackRyanS2PrimeVideo » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: When CIA analyst Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan stumbles upon a suspicious series of bank transfers his search for…

His Dark Materials: Season 1 Episode 6 Promo | HBO

New episodes of His Dark Materials air Mondays at 9PM on HBO. #HBO #HisDarkMaterials Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 His Dark Materials stars Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction, the first season follows…

War for the Planet of the Apes | Watch Now | FX

Watch the official trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes. Weary of war, Caesar wants to broker a peace that would end the suffering of his nation of intelligent apes. Watch it today on FXNOW. Subscribe to FX: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX See More of FXM: http://www.fxnetworks.com/movies FXM (formerly Fox Movie Channel) was launched in October…

Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer | Official Trailer | Netflix

When a video is posted online of a mysterious man killing two kittens, internet users across the world leap into action to find the perpetrator. Encouraged by the attention he's receiving, the killer continues posting ever more disturbing videos, eventually crossing into murder. From the producers of The Imposter and Silk Road, Don't F**k With…

The Irishman | Joe Pesci | Netflix

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN, a saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles…

AJ and the Queen | Official Trailer | Netflix

RuPaul stars in this outrageous series as a down-on-her-luck drag queen traveling across America in a RV with a tough-talking 10-year-old stowaway. AJ and The Queen arrives on January 10. Watch AJ and the Queen, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80245094 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million…
Eric Trigg
Eric Trigg
 I am Horror fanatic that can't go a single month without watching something horror related. I have a YouTube channel that is growing and would love for you to be one of my supporters. The fact that sequels exist proves there is no perfect film. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here