Destroyer is an action/thriller by Karyn Kusama (Æon Flux), that circles around LAPD detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) and her journey back to revisit an old case that forces her to face her demons.
Tragedy follows after Erin and her partner Chris (Sebastian Stan) go undercover to infiltrate a notorious criminal gang in the California desert. Re-emerging years later, their sadistic and uncontrollable leader Silas (Toby Kebbell) brings a fresh case, and with that years of history. Reluctantly revisiting these - all the while struggling to maintain a relationship with her daughter - Erin embarks on a mission to redeem her past decisions and find closure.
Following the narrative in a backwards manner has an investigative approach where, you yourself are finding out clues and piecing bits together as you go along. Going into this blind, it was such a treat to see Nicole Kidman in this (almost unrecognisable) character seeing as how different it is from her past roles. Every element of this character, from her makeup, clothing and voice made her performance one of the best I had seen. It was physically visible to see the turmoil and struggle that had clearly taken a toll on her and it still wasn't done yet! We follow her exhausting journey back into facing each character that was a part of her undercover mission, to ultimately lead to the leader of it all, Silas.
These scenes in themselves were huge in action and edge-of-seat tensions with great music, in tandem building to an uncomfortable or satisfying peak. I thought the characters were all well developed for the amount of story Kusama wanted to fit in, as we're given a before-and-after of each character.
In contrast to the high-action scenes, we're reminded of the character's humanity when we're shown moments of vulnerability and realisation of the impact one's decision has on others. This is where Kidman shines most.
Once the last piece of the puzzle is figured out, I feel there is more exposition than necessary to fulfil audience's questions however this is a small nitpick. It doesn't degrade the movie at all and it ends in an incredible way, tying all ends.
With a cleverly told story on sacrifice, revenge and the unforgiving repercussions of one's decisions, paired with excellent music, this movie kept my interest the whole way.
Release Date: 21 March, 2019 Director: Karyn Kusama Run Time: 121 mins Watch the trailer here