Wednesday, October 10, 2012

No one is killed softly in Killing Them Softly

There is a multitude of alternative timelines that were created where I did not choose to see this movie and I regret not being in one now. I had nothing else scheduled, a special operation I was on call for had been shelved by some nervous politician ahead of election day in November and I had nothing else planned so I went with it. I just looked up the running time for this and there's no way in hell until I see the DVD/BD time counter for this tediously long-drawn out movie, that I will believe it was only 97 mins. This will remain unresolved in my head because trust me, I'll never chose to watch this ever again. 

Brad Pitt plays Jackie a mob hit man sent in to investigate the robbery of an underground card-came run by Markie [Ray Goodfellas Liotta]. The robbery was masterminded by Johnny [Vincent The Sopranos Curatola] and carried out by Frankie and Russell [Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn]. Johnny's plan was to frame Markie for robbing his own game because Markie had actually robbed his own game some years back. Jackie's solution is to kill everyone involved but can't kill Johnny because he knows him (and that gets messy) so he gets Micky [James Gandolfini] to fly in to take care of that part. Let's just say things don't go as planned.

Andrew Dominik is a writer/director who has made a couple of movies that I don't know anything about since 2000. It's obvious he idolises both Scorsese and Tarantino but based on this shit he has none of their talent, wit or judgement. He shoved what must have been a 500 page rambling shooting script into the face of such screen gems as Pitt, Gandofini, Liotta and Richard Stepbrothers Jenkins and must have directed them to "say this as if you're just making it up on the spot". Bloody hell, the talking heads, the monologues and anecdotes were fucking endless.

The woefully few action sequences I woke up for were brutal and violent [especially a drive by shooting] earning this movie a star. The other star going to Liotta and Pitt's performances alone as the others were either under utilised [Sam Shepard is worth more than 40 seconds dumb ass] or over exposed [yes that's Gandofini playing yet another jaded gangster again].

The story was good if a little comedy-caper-ish but it worked. Sadly what I found was really the worst part of this was the endless social commentary in the background. Every TV or radio in the movie played select speeches/debates being delivered by presidential candidates Obama and McCain. It's obvious that Dominik had something to say about... politics? banking? corporations? something... but veiling it behind a simplistic mobster story was absolutely the wrong way to do it because it went completely over my head. If you want to be clever Andrew, you have to be clever, and you're not, so try again in another six or seven years.

Final Verdict: Good shootings, but far too much yapping. Good actors but mediocre performances. Good plot but incomprehensible message.

Colonel Creedon Rating: **

No comments: