If you’re not a fan of visceral gore, the sound of gunshots, or close-ups of angry faces, then The Kitchen is not for you.
And even if you are a fan of those things—I still don’t think The Kitchen is for you.
Even when viewed from a technical standpoint, the scenes cuts are jumpy, with little done to connect the plot visually as the story unfolds. A movie only needs so many aerial shots of New York City to provide context or create a segue, and it read more like the editor wasn’t sure how to take the audience from one place to the next—I’ve seen quick edits employed to heighten tension, but this didn’t read as an intentional storytelling tool to me.
To the credit of the costume department, actors McCarthy, Moss, and Haddish looked their parts. The make-up department pulled their fair share of weight, too, undoubtedly having to make vats of fake blood, then craft an untold number of bullet wounds to serve as the spigots.
Alas, those would be the precious few redeeming qualities for this film.
Mind you, I was looking forward to seeing the inevitably fun moments from having three women in the 70s run a mob operation, especially when cast thusly. Instead of a satisfyingly entertaining take on a girl power story, however, it felt like the filmmakers feared too much the “oh cute, three women try to be mob bosses” takeaway, opting to up the ante on gore to ensure nobody left with the words “fun” or “remotely enjoyable” on their minds.
My rating of 3/10 essentially comes down to one point for each of the lead actresses, who, despite spending an inordinate amount of time just looking sad or mad while donning Farrah Fawcett hair, still managed to create viable characters in Kathy, Ruby, and Claire. I just wish the writers had let their comedy chops loose more. I get that it’s supposed to be a serious film, and I understand actors wanting to show versatility with serious roles. Just make sure the seriousness don’t leave the audience in the dust (or, in this case, splattered with red droplets).
Even at 3/10, I’m being generous, as the rest of the film—the mob tropes, the sloppy attempt at softening it with a romance storyline, the moments of gore that had me hoping my pre-movie popcorn stayed put—left me feeling relieved when the film mercifully ended after one hour and 43 minutes.
The Kitchen is a mess.