Killing Them Softly (2012)
Andrew Dominik is one of those rare directors that doesn’t make many movies but when he does there on a whole other level. At 45 he’s only directed three films, the astonishingly brilliant Chopper and the masterfully crafted the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. His newest film Killing them Softly, is a methodic and unexpected examination of how money rules all.
Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Ben Medelsohn) with the help of Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola) decide to rob a card game that is protected by the mob. The robbery cripples the criminal economy and the mob soon hires Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) to restore order. In order to avoid spoilers that's all I will write but that’s basically the premise of the movie and all you need to know going in.
I want to start with the bad because I know so many people will and have been let down by this movie because of misinformation. A lot of people are going to come out of this movie disappointed because it didn’t live up to their expectation and in a way this is what happened with Prometheus. A lot of people expect Prometheus to have a ton of action great big aliens throughout the movie, basically they expected an Alien movie and that’s not what they got. The same goes for Killing them Softly without the aliens, a lot of people were expecting a great action packed gangster film and I can’t blame them after watching the trailer. That is the reason I do not like watching trailers beforehand as they tend to spoil parts of the movie and in this case mislead you into believing that the movie is something that it is not. So do not go into the film expecting an action packed film but rather a somber tale about money. Don’t get me wrong there are some action scenes just not a lot; most of the screen time is taken up by dialogue.
With that out of the way I can say that I really enjoyed this movie. It has a great plot with amazing dialogue and most importantly Fantastic acting. The few scenes of action are great and exceptionally crafted. The slow-mo in one scene is jaw dropping which is rare since that technique is so overused. The stand out in all of this is Pitt who puts on another great performance as the menacing and at times humorous hit-man. I was a bit let down by James Gandolfini role as Mickey, a way past his prime killer, as I was expecting something more along the lines of Tony Soprano as I’m sure others were as well.
Dominik has crafted yet another truly magnificent film that hopefully gets a better reception with audiences in the coming months. It’s a smart and witty film about economical woe slyly disguised as a gangster film. I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend this to anyone that likes an introverted film that’s smart, funny and has a message, 4 out of 5.