Fuelled by an insatiable anger throughout, Nicole Kidman produces the performance of her life in Destroyer.
And such is the gravity and depth of this thriller that the audience’s eyes are, almost literally, riveted to the screen throughout.
Directed by Karyn Kusama, the plot is seamless, gripping and intense.
Destroyer is the story of a bad cop (Kidman’s dishevelled Erin Bell) who flips the gender roles as she hunts down the killer of her former boyfriend and fellow undercover cop Chris, 17 years’ earlier.
As a young cop, Erin had spent months undercover with members of a dangerous gang in the California desert.
The film is full of recollections of that time, including the deadly botched bank robbery that killed Chris (played by Sebastian Stan), and nearly ruined her life.
Erin continually struggles with her demons – especially when the leader of the desert gang (the evil Silas, brilliantly played by Toby Kebbell), re-emerges onto the Los Angeles crime scene.
Armed robbery remains the desert gang’s modus operandi, and when at the start of the film, a blood-spattered body is found bearing all the hallmarks of the desert gang; Erin’s interest is piqued.
Amazingly, the elegant and glamorous Kidman – who we all know usually looks stunning – is not a pretty sight in this film.
Indeed, many of her LAPD colleagues are at pains to point out she ‘looks like sh*t’.
Added to this, Erin is having huge issues with her 16-year-old daughter (Jade Pettyjohn) who, as a ‘back-story’, always keeps things interesting.
However, it is the film’s ending that is really something – and this alone makes the film worth watching, (no spoilers here, though)!
While Kidman gives a stunning performance, the other actors are also no slouches: particularly the Charles Manson-like Kebbell, who as the master-criminal and leader of the desert gang, also absolutely nails his performance.
Somehow this gritty and unconventional thriller managed to fly under the radar at the recent Oscars.
However, popular demand could rectify this at the next ones, perhaps.
Destroyer starts on Thursday March 21 at Luna Leederville, Luna On SX, Luna Outdoor and Camelot Outdoor.
By Mike Peeters