Writer: Andrew Dominik (Screenplay) George V Higgins (Novel)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta
Plot: Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse.
Tagline – In America you’re on your own
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow & Uninspiring
Story: Killing Them Softly starts when Frankie (McNairy) and Russell (Mendelsohn) rob Markie’s (Liotta) mob protected card game, putting a bounty on themselves. With the men not happy with this incident, they hire Jackie (Pitt) to clean up the mess, he enjoys killing his victims, softly, with his Driver (Jenkins) filling in the information about the hit he will need to take out, while the man Jackie wanted to help with the job, Mickey (Gandolfini) isn’t the man he used to know.
Thoughts on Killing Them Softly
Characters – Jackie is a hitman assigned to clean up a mod owned robbery, he has his own ways to get the job done which will see him slowly calculated kill his targets, but he will get the job done smoothly. Frankie is one of the thieves that commits the robbery, he has bought in his own friend to help with the latest job, he must try to stay low while he waits for the bounty to go away. Russell is the loose cannon that is bought in by Frankie, he isn’t liked by the boss, but is given the chance to help with the job. Mickey is the former hitman that just isn’t the man he once was, he can’t be seen in public which doesn’t help with his job. Driver fills in the information for Jackie, he shows him where the job could be done too. Markie is the host of the poker game who sees the money stolen, knowing what it will mean for him.
Performances – Brad Pitt is the highlight of this film, which isn’t saying too much, he does keep the cool persona we know him for through the film, but isn’t as incredible as we could have seen from him. The supporting cast all struggle in this film without getting any moments that will make us want to support their characters.
Story – The story follows a hitman hired to clean up a gangster robbery but unsuspecting thieves, only for him to see the people are not the same as they once were. This story goes at a slow pace which just doesn’t ever get going before ending without seemingly finishing. We have too many characters being introduced to enjoy this film which just seems to be a lot of talking and never hitting the criminal world style that you would be expecting from the gangster underworld.
Crime – The criminal side of this film just seems to follow different people in the criminal world, they are at different levels and are force to be against each other.
Settings – The film is set in a city which is filled with the chances to be a criminal without making any location feel iconic.
Final Thoughts – This is a slow non-moving crime thriller that just drags along even with Brad Pitt trying his best to make something of nothing.
Overall: Slow and dull.