‘Killing Them Softly’ (2012)



Dave’s 3-Word Review
Amazing, but Excessive

Some may love mafia movies, others aren’t so much of a fan. The ones that aren’t so much of a fan often find these films as movies that seem to drag on for too long, offering little more than other mafia films. So what about “Killing Them Softly” is unique and what about it could use help?

This film opens with a high stakes and criminal poker ring that is robbed by two unprofessional men that have no idea what is at stake. They believed that because the owner of that ring, Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta)confessed to robbing his own game before that he would be believed to have done it a second time. Because of their unprofessionalism, not as many people believed their story as they would have hoped. A man named Driver (Richard Jenkins) hires a professional hitman (Brad Pitt) to take these two guys out, but the hitman tells him he needs to also take out the man who hired them as well as Markie, even though Markie did nothing. He had to kill Markie to sustain a balance in the force that is the mafia, so everyone can be happy.

One thing that needs to be stated right off the back, if you believe that this film is in any way an action flick, please think again, this is very slow paced and has very little action. It should instead be recognized as a solid drama with some pretty good suspenseful moments and unbelievable writing. It’s true, the writing in this film is absolutely astonishing, from the scenes to the pacing and direction, all the way to the dialogue. The dialogue was nothing less than phenomenal, it made sense, it was believable, and it fit the film perfectly.

There was also incredibly strong performances across the board. Not a single actor or actress in the film lacked in professionalism or believability, they all played their part remarkably well. There is no question about it, the film excelled in the writing and acting, but it did in fact fall from perfection. Mainly speaking, the film does feel a bit drowsy, and there was no way around it.

As mentioned above, the dialogue was incredible, to the point where you wouldn’t believe, but they were long and unnecessary in parts. It comes to the point where you are watching two characters talking about something completely off-topic and you are saying, “wow, this is great, they have great chemistry, but can they please get to the point? And quick?”. It fails to substantially get to the point in the more preferable fashion.

There was also no hero or villain, or any main character in the film. Each character played a pretty vital role to the story and no one stands out above the rest. Brad Pitt is the killer, yes, but he only makes the poster because he is the most recognizable face of the bunch. This can be okay sometimes, and for the overall tone of this film, it made sense. Could it have been made any other way to facilitate a more solid direction? Debatable.

To sum the movie up, it had a great start, incredible writing, dialogue and acting, slow sleepy middle, and a great ending. It’s a good movie, and interesting. The cinematography is fantastic, the editing couldn’t be better, but it just had that problem of having a little too much unnecessary moments that take away the great moments that the film had.

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