Killing Them Softly
Running Time: 97 minutes
Starring: Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta
Directed By: Andrew Dominik
Rating: 3 out of 10
A hit man must track down some thieves who have knocked over a mob run poker game.
Find a dark closet, get in and close the door. Find any device that will play music and look up the group The Fugees. Find the track, Killing Me Softly, put it on repeat and listen to the song for two straight hours. I guarantee that will be a better time than watching this movie. Killing Them Softly is the story about a couple of amateur thieves that rob a mob run poker game. The mob hires a hit man to find the robbers, and to teach them a lesson that no crime will go unpunished.
I can only classify the acting as effective. With a cast of veterans, this film does not lack in proficiency but does lack in quality characters. Frankie and Russell are played by Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn, and they are solid leads. They are no Guy Ritchie leads but they are capable portrayers of low life criminals/junkies. There is actor Ray Liotta playing mob guy, Markie Trattman. Liotta goes old school and shows he hasn’t lost his touch in playing a wise guy but has limited screen time. Actor Richard Jenkins plays the mob middleman and he is okay but underutilized in this. There is a broken and alcoholic hit man named Mickey who is played by James Gandolfini. His performance is good but his appearance in the film is puzzling. He drinks and whores, drinks and complains, and drinks and does drugs. All of these things are going on with the character, but he offers nothing positive to the film. Lastly, there is the hired hit man Jackie played by Brad Pitt. I love Brad Pitt and I think he is a fantastic actor, but this was not the role for him. He is adequate as this sociopathic character but he just seemed off in this. Without Pitt’s expected excellence, this film lacks entertainment at all the crucial moments.
I am pretty sure that Director Andrew Dominik has a pretty fervent following but I am just not one of them. His style is always dark with pithy dialogue and this is no different. He has a film bred for violence and he just never pulls the trigger in the right spots. His camera work is above average and the long conversations show that he loves his characters, but his focus should be that his audiences love his characters too. He takes a great cast and delivers a film that misses as a drama, action, crime, and mafia movie.
I cannot recommend this film as it will be killing you with its slow pace.
T Factor + If you like dialogue driven films then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you expect a lot from Brad Pitt when he is in a movie then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: RocknRolla, Snatch.