Sunday, March 24, 2013
Killing Them Softly (2012)
"In America your on your own"
Jackie is a enforcer for the mob brought in to clean up a local economic collapse after Three small time crooks hold up a mob protected card game.
Killing Them Softly begins with probably one of the better opening sequences that I've seen in a long time with a back and forth between a guy walking threw a dark tunnel with newly election President Barack Obama talking and intercut with the movies title cards. This is setting up the contrast of the film and real life issues with where America's economy began to fall and were they end up.
The young man Frankie (Scoot McNairy) exits the tunnel and finds himself on the streets of a still post katrina New Orleans where he meets up with his friend Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) who is walking a bunch of stolen dogs, they have a interesting but funny back and forth talk, the two men then go see Johnny (Vincent Curatolo) who doesn't like Russell for good reason since the guy is a junkie and what he wants them to do isn't something a loose cannon junkie like Russell needs to be involved in.
Johnny tells Frankie about a mob protected card game that he wants them to knock over, which Frankie doesn't want to do because he know the mob will be coming for him, but Johnny gives Frankie a bit of security that because after they do the job the mob will know who did it even though he didn't do it because some time back Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta) had one off his own games knocked over so if it ever happened again they would know that he did it.
The robbery goes off without a problem except for the fact that everyone including Markie know that the mob will come for him, which brings Jackie Coogan (Brad Pitt) to town, he is the mobs top enforcer and he always gets the job done.
This is Director Andrew Dominik's second film that I've seen The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford being the first, even though I like both movies but what I think hurt both movies is that Dominik has a thing for slow pacing with little to no action in movies that should have more action, atleast in killing Them Softly the action scenes are done with some visual style one scene that comes to mind is the execution of Markie is done with style.
Brad Pitt is a joy to watch as the cool no nonsense Jackie who is the only straight forward character in the movie and sees everything for what it is and doesn't like to sugar coat anything his meeting with Frankie and the final scene between him and Richard Jenkins are perfect examples.
Dominik also has a thing of casting top caliber actors in thankless roles Sam Shepard for the second time now is vastly underused here just like he was In Assassination of Jesse James, he deserves more then that hopefully if casted again in Dominik's movie his role will have more too it instead of the show up for one scene and leave the movie never to be heard from again.
James Gandolfini character is almost pointless and unnecessary granted this is the third time he and Pitt have had paired up on the big screen and their interactions are good back and forth but Dominik seems to have fell in love with just sitting back and letting these two sit and talk and forget that he is making a movie, because both scenes with them run on way to long and don't truly go anywhere except show that Gandolfini character is screwed up.
I did like how the contrast between a card game and the economic collapse parallel but for anyone watching this movie who didn't or don't follow politics that closely watching the movie will have that undercurrent go right over their heads.
Brad Pitt- Jackie
Scoot McNairy- Frankie
James Gandolfini- Micky
Ben Mendelsohn- Russell
Richard Jenkins- Driver
Sam Shepard- Dillon
Ray Liotta- Markie Trattman
All in all Killing Them Softly is worth a watch because of Brad Pitt's performance and for a few cool action scenes but other then that I see why the movie didn't do will when it was released maybe it will do better on DVD only time will tell there. I like Andrew Dominik as a director but I hope going forward he will kinda reign himself in with his story telling style.
MY RATING 6/10