Theatrical Reviews

Destroyer Review

Destroyer 1

Studio:
Lionsgate UK   

What’s It About?
A world weary and washed-up detective, haunted by guilt and loss, has one more shot at redemption following a murder and the return of an old nemesis.   

Who’s In It?
Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!, The Others, & more recently The Upside)
Sebastian Stan (Captain America, Avengers etc, Logan Lucky, & more recently I, Tonya)   

Other notables include:
Toby Kebbell (Dead Man’s Shoes, Rocknrolla, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, & more recently Hurrican Heist)
Bradley Whitford (West Wing, Saving Mr Banks, & more recently Get Out)   

Director: Katyn Kusama (AEon Flux, Jennifer’s Body, & The Invitation)   

Audiences Expect:
Washed-up, guilt-ridden detectives seem to be almost exclusively the preserve of men, with Harvey Keitel, Nic Cage, Cracker, Luther, even Broadchurch immediately springing to mind. But no more it would seem, as a decidedly unglamorous Nicole Kidman stars as a haunted, sleep-deprived, washed-up detective.
Initially unclear as to the source of her misery, it becomes apparent that Detective Erin Bell is living in her car, in the same old clothes, like something from the undead with minimal sleep and red, soulless, haunted eyes. 
Our introduction to her follows a murder by the Los Angeles river. Meandering over, Bell takes one look at the victim, before being hit with a series of flashbacks when she and her partner Chris had infiltrated a notorious criminal gang, led by a ne’er-do-well called Silas. 
Although menacing, we never do see Silas do anything terrible, and his mid 90s gothic grunge thing makes him even less sinister. Without revealing too much, things do not go down as well as they should, and all these years later, this crim’s death by the LA river offers Bell a chance at redemption.
Set in a somewhat bleak and desolate LA, director Katyn Kusama certainly goes for the grim and dramatic with her backdrops for this film. Nicole Kidman delivers a stonking performance with her transformation into a distraught, pained and bitter detective, who has seemingly given up on life and is at odds with her daughter. Kidman also benefits from strong support in the form of Sebastian Stan, Bradley Whitford, and Toby Kebbell.   

In A Nutshell:
A powerful performance from Nicole Kidman in a very different kind of role, in this dark, grim and thoroughly compelling film.     

Highlight:
Nicole Kidman’s performance   

Lowpoint:
The family dynamic could do with a bit more investment


Certificate: 15

EDITOR’S CHOICE