What You Need To Know - May 24, 2019

Destroyer: What You Need To Know
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Destroyer: What You Need To Know

There is a long list of films whose promotional materials have utilised a well-worn cliché to describe their leading star's performance with the words “as you've never seen him/her before”, but while we've no intention of adding to that pile it could certainly be argued that in the case of Nicole Kidman's latest starring role, as a grizzled LAPD detective with a murky past, the description is at least justifiably true.

A tense new crime thriller set to arrive in stores next week is the stage upon which Kidman offers her latest performance – and what a performance it is. In Destroyer, Kidman delivers a tour-de-force portrayal that rivals any of her previous on-screen appearances in a cleverly-spun crime caper with a killer twist in its tale.

The film arrives in stores on Monday (May 27th), here's everything you need to know...


Who's in it?

Kidman stars alongside a cast that includes Toby Kebbel, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Shamier Anderson and Scoot McNairy.

 

And who's directing?

Karyn Kusama, whose previous directorial credits include feature films such as Girlfight and TV series including Billions and The Man in the High Castle, is the woman calling the shots on this one. Kusama works from a script penned by Ride Along and The Invitation screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.

 

What's the plot?

Kidman stars as veteran LAPD Detective Erin Bell, who we first meet as she arrives on the scene of a John Doe murder, with the victim an unknown white male. On examining the body, Bell informs officers that she knows the identity of the murderer, before returning to the police station to find she has been sent an envelope containing a banknote stained with purple dye.

An FBI contact of Bell's confirms her suspicions about the banknote; that it was obtained during a bank heist many years earlier, in which she was involved as an undercover agent sent in to infiltrate the bank robbers' gang. She presents this to her superiors that the gang's leader, Silas (Kebbel), is active again.

Bell sets about trying to track down the remaining members of Silas' gang in the hope of establishing his whereabouts, but as she works her way closer to the gang leader it soon becomes clear that her role in the heist isn't quite as straightforward as it initially seems, and by the time she locates Silas' girlfriend Petra it emerges that Bell may have more selfish reasons for wanting to find the gang leader.

 

Does it deliver?

In the hands of a less skilled director, Destroyer could easily have been a run-of-the-mill crime mystery, but thanks to some clever storytelling and Julie Kirkwood's wonderful cinematography this is a stylish and gripping crime thriller that also happens to feature one of Nicole Kidman's best ever performances. Kidman's weathered, battle-worn detective alone makes Destroyer worth a look, but for fans of crime stories in particular, this is one that's well worth your time.


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