Destroyer

Destroyer directed by Karyn Kusama follows the story of LAPD detective Erin Bell played by Nicole Kidman. Several years earlier, Erin and her partner Chris (Sebastian Stan) take an assignment to go undercover to infiltrate a gang and their leader Silas (Toby Kebbell) in the Californian desert. However, some major repercussions occur resulting in the operation going sideways. Years later and burdened with the guilt of her past, Erin is given the opportunity to seek out the members of the gang she once ran with in hopes that she can bring closure to herself and bring Silas to justice.

Karyn Kusama‘s storytelling is split into two timelines, which can come across as risky but manages to flow consistently, switching back and forth from past to present, allowing us as the audience to clearly see every character’s progression and developmental stages. I didn’t feel as strongly connected to many of the characters as I did with Erin and Chris. However, Sebastian Stan and Nicole Kidman share amazing natural chemistry on-screen. Although I did feel that each character wasn’t established enough as I would have liked with their quick on and off departures, I believe this may have been purposefully done due to the director wanting to enhance the momentum for the story’s progression.

Despite my issues with the character development, the cast were strong in their roles; Sebastian Stan and his casual fierceness which we have seen in Marvel movies such as Captain America: Winter Soldier comes across strongly in his role as Chris, Toby Kebbell’s calm yet disturbing portrayal of Silas was effectively uncomfortable and Nicole Kidman that really brought her strengths with her character Erin. Kidman shows that she is a veteran to the game by effectively displaying a character that has physical and psychological instability. Erin’s strong, rough, tough persona with her determination and hunger to find Silas was what really kept me engaged.

Destroyer has the perfect balance of investigation, revelation and action. The action in the film was never unnecessary and the suspense was always consistent with every clue unravelling and making me wonder how everything was going to come full circle in the end. With an engaging story and unique narrative, Nicole Kidman’s performance is superb in Destroyer, reminding viewers why she’s one of the best in her field.

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