The Drop

| May 9, 2006

Join me for Tarantino Ripoff Theatre! This week’s featured title, the upcoming soon to be languishing on video store shelves because no one in their right mind would rent it twice masterwork, “The Drop”!
So what we have here is the positively baffling story of Carter Wilson, a twenty six year old graduate student studying architecture and trying to keep things working with his fiancee of three years, Triste. Carter, like pretty much every college student ever, needs money. So when he gets a plum job offer, driving a luxury sports car from northern California to the wilds of Los Angeles for five grand, he does so happily.
Now, already, you can spot LOADS of things wrong with this concept.
The only people who get paid this kind of money to transport a car are 1. drug mules or 2. coyotes full of illegal immigrants. Better still, engaged. For three years. These are feet so cold they could be used to cool a beer keg.
The interesting part is, you’re not alone in spotting these gaffes. The plot holes are officially canon when Trista brings them up in a phone conversation with a driving Carter.
It is probably a bad idea to basically look at your audience and say, “Yes, we know the script is full of plot holes. Here, let us detail for you exactly what they are. In canon. In fact, we’re not actually out to FIX any of these problems by the end of the movie, we’re just gonna make the movie run around them.”
Worse yet is the shooting style. This movie is packed to the gills with jump cuts and flashbacks less than one minute in duration and assorted flashFORWARDS, even, meaning that we’re going to be jumping around all over the place. Plus, at thirty six minutes and thirteen seconds, we get an exciting round of Fun With Visual Metaphors. The audience would be best served here by a nice text placard reading:
“Warning: Events Occur Having Nothing To Do With the Plot Next Minute And a Half”
But now we get to the part that really got me irritated, the Tarantino Movie Ripoff portion of the evening. Carter, you see, is going to get held up and assaulted by a collection of thugs with really evocative code names, designed ostensibly to keep anyone from knowing who they actually are.
The names they go by? Mr. Zero. Mr. One. Mr. Two. Mr. Pink. And so on.
Oh wait! No! Not Mr. PINK! The hell was I thinking–that’s one of Tarantino’s names! Can’t use the color scheme–Tarantino’s big enough to sue! So let’s just break out the NUMBERS instead. Lovely, fellas. Tarantino can’t copyright numbers, you know. So you’re at least SAFE there, if not totally spineless.
And even better, after Carter is beset upon by the Reservoir..umm…CATS (yeah, that’ll work!), we find out just what’s been going on here after all. Carter’s transporting not just a car, but also a random and all too familiar something in a random and all too familiar briefcase.
Remember “Pulp Fiction”, folks?
Oh yeah. Carter’s been transporting a mysterious briefcase full of light that causes everyone who looks at it to go bugeyed until they shut the lid. The key difference is that, in “The Drop” the light is BLUE. Not golden like in “Pulp Fiction.”
All levity aside, folks, this is the perfect summation of why “The Drop” is godawful: Bad plot. Bad execution. Some elements were abducted from other, vastly better films. The ending is even worse. They’re going to try to pull this mass of cinematic slop together into some kind of coherent form, and much like trying to sculpt a buffalo out of chocolate pudding, it’s not gonna work real well.
There are a great many unanswered questions left behind–see if you can spot three for yourself at home!–and no one seems to be in any great hurry to fix THAT problem either.
The special features were limited to a trailer for “The Drop” on the disk I got, but that’ll likely change in the full version.
All in all, “The Drop” is something I’d rather like TO drop. There’s no sense in renting this one, folks, unless you really just HAVE to have a horror fix.

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