With Oscar season in full swing, various actors will have their top-name titles rolled out during the fall season leading up toward Christmas so that they can earn eligibility for a Golden Globe along with an opportunity to snag an Oscar just a couple of months later. One performance that has critics already buzzing about Hollywood handing out some golden idols for one of tinsel town’s long-established darlings is Nicole Kidman’s turn as an undercover cop turned violent killer in Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer.
It’s more of the typical Hollywood agenda that orients around seeing women taking on more masculine roles. However, Annapurna Pictures’ crime-thriller has a little more to it than meets the eye.
Initially it seems like an old, hard-boiled cop laying bullets into baddies, but it turns out that Kidman’s character actually funked up her job by falling in love with the criminal she was supposed to be bringing in. The typical bad boy foil to every good girl is played by none other than the Winter Soldier himself, Sebastian Stan.
When things go haywire on a robbery, Kidman’s character loses it and things spiral out of control from there. Years later she’s a bitter, old, graying curmudgeon with a penchant for violence.
While the film obviously attempts to subvert the trope of the handsome young cop who grows into an old, bitter killer by changing the protagonist from a male to a female, it at least seems to recognize that there’s no heroic gestures or glory to be reaped from the mistakes Kidman’s character made in her past.
It’s tough to tell if this will be a proper follow-through of what we see in the trailer, where the tragic tale of a cop fallen from grace hits the dirt and loses everything in the end, or if this is going to be another one of those redemption films where the end message is all about Hollywood’s fixation with “female empowerment”.
Either way, the trailer itself at least looks interesting for anyone who likes crime-thrillers that are multi-layered, but obviously the quality of the film will be dependent on how well executed Destroyer plays out in its entirety. You can look for the flick to hit theaters in December.