The story centers around the reappearance of Silas (Toby Kebbell) the head of the criminal organization she infiltrated 17 years ago. A body turns up on the side of the road having been dispatched from this world in the trademark manner used by Silas and his crew. Erin rattles the cages of her contacts from the past off book and on her own in order to find Silas and bring him down hoping to find closure.
Writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi's script tries to pull off a narrative in the tradition of Dirty Harry or Death Wish but doesn't get there. The makeup department Lola Visual effects and Bill Corso on prosthetics deserve a salute for their work on Kidman plus the Silas gang members on the drastic change between how they look flashbacks and how they appear present day as Erin tracks each of them down. The buzz from the film is the bordering on homeless look of Kidman The viewers first thoughts will turn to Charlize Theron in Monster but Kidman incorporates gestures, looks, gait and a scratchy barely there whisper of a voice to truly envelop Erin in a cloak of darkness and filth.
In the end, the film is muddled waiting until far too late in the day to get to the crux of what lead to Erin's meltdown. The flashbacks which at first offer insight into Bell's current state are also used as a device to bend time in the present that does not ring true. As the credit roll, the audience will reflect on the last sequences of the film that serves to forfeit much of what has gone before. It's a worthy attempt to show how trauma, P.T.S.D and unresolved guilt can eat away at a person over time leaving a shell in its place. However, this story has been told better before leaving Destroyer outside the category of films I can recommend.
** Out of 4.
Destroyer | Karyn Kusama | U.S.A. | 2018 | 121 Minutes.
Tags: Deep Cover, Nonlinear narrative,Flashbacks, Bank Robbery, Gang, Los Angeles, L.A.P.D., Detective, Rogue Cop, Alcoholism, Revenge, Money Laundering, Dye Packs.