Tuesday 15 October 2019

The Kitchen review: Structurally and tonally unsound but Domhnall Gleeson is terrific

2 stars

The Kitchen: Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy
The Kitchen: Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

Though it’s now jammed with aspiring actors and yuppie Wall Street traders, the Hell’s Kitchen area of midtown Manhattan was once synonymous with a notorious Irish-American crime gang called the Westies.

Andrea Berloff’s film is based on a series of hard-boiled 1990s graphic novels and is set in the late 1970s, when the Westies were on the wane.

When their not particularly bright mobster husbands are sent to prison after a botched job, Kathy Brennan (Melissa McCarthy), Claire Walsh (Elizabeth Moss) and Ruby O’Carroll (Tiffany Haddish) are left with little to live on, and decide to take over their spouses’ protection rackets.

For this they’ll need muscle, and so enlist the services of an unhinged Vietnam veteran called O’Malley (Domhnall Gleeson), but their rapidly expanding enterprise soon lands them in trouble with the Irish and Italian mobs.

The Kitchen is nice to look at but structurally and tonally unsound, and so clumsily are the post me#too politics retrospectively applied that it doesn’t feel like we’re in the 1970s at all. Gleeson is terrific, though.

(16, 103mins)

Irish Independent

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