The Kitchen Review

The Kitchen

The Kitchen was an eight-issue series that ran on DC’s Vertigo comics line. It was a relatively unknown piece of property, but that didn’t stop Warner Bros. from adapting it to the big screen. With Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss in the film, the film is shaping up to be a great film.

Unfortunately, the final product isn’t exactly what the filmmakers had in mind. With flat performances and a generic style of storytelling, The Kitchen just doesn’t live up to expectations.

The Kitchen follows Kathy Brennan, Ruby O’Carroll, and Claire Walsh, three wives of Hell’s Kitchen gangsters who get sent to prison. In their absence, they put it upon themselves to continue their business while their husbands are away.

The Kitchen - Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, and Melissa McCarthy

The Kitchen as a comic book series went on for eight issues. In the comic book world, that’s not a lot of material. Yet The Kitchen does an impeccable job in making it feel like they’re compressing and accelerating the entire storyline into an hour and forty-three-minute film. If you want to know what that feels like then think of The Last Airbender.

This compact acceleration of the storyline introduces a ton of issues. This is what ultimately brings this film all the way down to the bottom. First of all, you never really get to know the main characters in the film. There just isn’t enough character development for audiences to care about them. The characters that we connect with and the only source of sympathy are that their life sucks for maybe twenty minutes. That isn’t really a lot of time to sympathize with them.

It also doesn’t help that Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish provide such wooden performances. They’re typically better actresses but they are completely wasted in The Kitchen. They never really add depth and layers to their characters nor do they do more with the material that’s been given to them. Elisabeth Moss and Domhnall Gleeson are the only two actors that provide some life into the film.

The Kitchen - Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish

At the same time, the editing is nonsensical. So whatever coherent storyline came from the comics is cast aside due to the choppy editing. At the same time, there is a lot of jarring moments where scenes would go from one scene to the next without a nice transition point. In addition, there are zero buildups to some of the surprises in the film. So when the surprises come it feels a little too forced.

The other problem with The Kitchen is that there’s confusion to the tone of the film. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a dark comedy, a gangster crime drama, or a wickedly cool film like Ocean’s 11. If it wanted to combine all three then the filmmakers just didn’t know how to combine all three genres together.

The film isn’t all bad, though. The film does capture the gritty and dirty 1960’s look of New York. The entire city feels alive and lived in. Not to mention, the soundtrack is absolutely stellar as well. It’s very reminiscent of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack with its use of classic rock songs.

Overall, The Kitchen is a total fruitless effort in adapting one of DC’s more obscure titles. The idea was nice and the cast is great but the final product just doesn’t reach the level of talent behind it. The film is just a complete and total disappointment on all sides.

Rating: 1/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1507 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.