Run time: 118 mins
Director Karyn Kusama’s sour, noir-flecked police drama showcases an unforgettable tour de force from Nicole Kidman.
Kusama specialises in strong, often conflicted female characters. Between stints in television, she has delivered Jennifer’s Body, about a possessed cheerleader, the science-fiction drama Aeon Flux, starring Charlize Theron and 2000’s Girlfight, a first film both for Kusama and lead actor Michelle Rodriguez. Destroyer is no different.
To describe its story in a linear fashion doesn’t do justice to the intricacies of its vision. Similar to Lynne Ramsay’s terrific You Were Never Really Here, the film relies heavily on flashbacks and meticulously deployed poetic imagery as it follows Detective Erin Bell, a ramshackle, stumbling, hungover wreck of a cop who must reconnect with people from a disastrous undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace..
Her barely competent police work seems to be motivated not by a thirst for justice or even revenge, but by half-crazed desperation. Kidman sells this masterfully, evoking a woman who is so used to being damaged that she’s all but given up on being anything but entirely broken. An unmissable, career-best from Ms Kidman. (Research Chris Coetsee) Tough but worth seeing. Come.