It’s certainly no surprise to see Melissa McCarthy wrestle every last ounce of oomph out of a role.
The star might raise an eyebrow or two, though, with her crime-drama turn in The Kitchen. Written and directed by Andrea Berloff from the pages of a DC Vertigo comic book series, this 1-hour, 42-minute action piece focuses on the 1978 life of three Hells Kitchen wives whose husbands have been arrested in their latest caper.
McCarthy’s Kathy made her way through this sort of this extended-Irish-family-dominated life by keeping her eyes on the kids and domestic issues. Tiffany Haddish’s Ruby found her place by marrying the brother of the kingpin. Nobody has accepted her. Elisabeth Moss’s Claire has weathered her personal storm as a battered wife.
Together they decide they must act when the promised of financial security while the husbands are in jail does not meet their needs.
Ruby’s mother-in-law, played as a true witch my Margo Martindale, cares not about their plight. The men in the family act like the kingpins they think they are. These three women, well, they fight back in a big way.
The crime steps are not quite original if you’ve watched movies about New York City and supposed family protection, but to watch the women gain confidence and momentum can be quite exhilarating if you want to root for law-breaking.
McCarthy and Haddish won’t let their characters bend, never mind break.
It makes for an eye-opening night of strategy, death and retribution on the living room wide scream, for sure.