The main reason for seeing "The Kitchen" is if you really like the 3 actresses who star in the film. The one who impressed me the most was Elisabeth Moss who I have seen now and then but not her acclaimed "The Handmaiden's Tale". Here, as the abused wife of a gangster, she has the best arc in the film and does an excellent job.
I like Melissa McCarthy but have sort of rationed myself in the work I have seen her in. I love her appearances on Saturday Night Live, have watched and enjoyed a few of her "Mike and Molly" television episodes. I became aware of her first in "The Gilmore Girls" and thought she did a riveting portrait of Lee Israel in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" and was a standout in "St. Vincent". I, generally, skip movies she is in that has been written and/or directed by her husband.
I can understand the third lead, Tiffany Haddish, making as many movies as she can, doing television shows and specials in what seems every week as she came on the screen, quickly becoming the 'flavor of the month' and was everywhere and annoying me with her loud, brash, cursing, blue comments so I started avoiding her. I must admit she does good work here and you can see her potential as a serious actress who can be subdued when needed to be and can sustain a believable character.
The film about 3 women who take over their husband's 'gangster' business, offering protection in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York city when they are sentenced to jail is sort of far fetched but does include a lot of the violence that would come with the job.
Talking about the violence, aside from showing the occasional shooting, it was different in today's cinema world whereas like in the old days it was indicated instead of being shown though I am still wondering why there were laughs during the explanation of cutting up a body in a bathtub, showing knives and blood, to get rid of it!
The director/screenwriter Andrea Berloff did a good job sort of taming McCarthy and Haddish while offering the three strong actresses a male supporting cast who aren't blown away in their scenes with the women. Surprisingly Margo Martindale, having a one note role doesn't impress as usual.
"The Kitchen" isn't as funny or as dramatic as it should be but for a rainy afternoon in Fort Lauderdale it is a good way of staying dry.
Just a note: though the movie takes place in the last 1970s and the cars, clothes and building facades all are realistic the scene of 42nd Street between 7th & 8th Avenues with all the movie marquees does not have the Lyric theatre where I had one of my first jobs (in the 1950s)! :O)
"The Kitchen" stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss as three 1978 Hell's Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI. Left with little but a sharp ax to grind, the ladies take the Irish mafia's matters into their own hands proving unexpectedly adept at everything from running the rackets to taking out the competition literally.