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Destroyer
毁 灭 者

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
Opening Date
14 Feb 2019
Rating
M18 Sexual Scene and Coarse Language
Runtime
120 mins
Language
English - subtitles to be advised
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama
Director
Karyn Kusama
Cast
Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany
Synopsis
DESTROYER follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell (Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman), who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past.
Reviews
By Say Peng  13 Feb 2019
A stunning and transformative performance from Nicole Kidman
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Following the cult successes of ‘Jennifer’s Body’ and ‘The Invitation’, Karyn Kusama, a director well known for portraying strong female characters, returns to the big screen with ‘Destroyer’, which stars Nicole Kidman in a way you have never seen Kidman before.

Kidman plays policewoman Erin Bell, who has become something of a shadow of a human being. She looks like she hasn’t slept and eaten at all in the past ten years. Her skin is dust-dry and pale. Her eyes are blue but hollow. She is alive, but she is not living. She’s buried deep in guilt and regret following a past tragedy.

When a dead body turns up, there are signs that an old enemy, one related to Bell’s traumatic past, has returned. Bell sets off on a one-woman rampage to hunt him down. This person is the devilish leader of a gang of armed robbers, Silas (Toby Kebbell), whom, years ago, Bell and her partner, Chris (Sebastian Stan), went undercover to investigate. The film shows us in flashbacks the stakes involved for Bell and why she’s so determined to nab Silas.

Almost needless to say, Kidman turns in one of the most intense performances of her career. It is a no-holds-barred, deeply psychological, and intensely physical performance. In one scene, in order to get the information she needs, she jacks off a paraplegic. In another scene, where she confronts a corrupt lawyer, she ends up being viciously beaten up but picks herself up through sheer grit to confront him again. It is nothing short of total commitment on Kidman’s part.

Unfortunately, the film itself does not do justice or live up to Kidman’s excellence and will disappoint audiences expecting a tense crime thriller. Instead, it is more of a meditative character study, although we are never able to truly empathize with her struggles with guilt. There is a major bank robbery sequence that demonstrates Kusama’s talent at staging action set pieces, but it comes too late and goes on too briefly. Perhaps a little more action would make the film more palatable for audiences as they stick it out with Kidman through dirt and grime.
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