Maksim's Review of Killing Them Softly
Killing Them Softly(2012)
Grim, brutal and unorthodox, Killing Them Softly is a remarkable movie,which drifts away from the mainstream mob dramas with its dark humor, unconventional take on gangsters and strange comparison between economy and the mob world. With quite uneven story and vague messages, this post-modern downbeat violent drama is a demanding piece of work which may not reward those seeking for a Tarantino or The Sopranos-like movie.
Situated during the economic meltdown of 2007-2008, in the middle of nowhere, in a place where nothing happens and the mob runs its business until it gets disturbed, the story is simple, but filled with extreme rich and nuanced characters. In fact, it would not be wrong if it said that the story is somehow chaotic, monotonous and far from being suspenseful. Yet, throughout the movie it becomes clear that director Andrew Dominik is more interested in the micro cosmos of the local mob world, its characters and the allegory with the corporate America, than in delivering entertainment to the audience. This becomes quite a challenge for the audience, as at one point the movie is very close to becoming as mainstream unwatchable as Dominik's previous collaboration with Brad Pitt: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
With long dialogues, slow moments of quoting President Bush and (then) Senator Obama during the first month of the economic meltdown Dominik draws up a fascinating comparison between the official corporate world of capitalism and the "corporate micro cosmos" of the mob. In addition to this, Dominik's typical eye for cinematographic details and static camera-work (already seen in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Ford) only strengthen the neo-noir atmosphere amidst the scenes of bloody violence and terrific cast. Speaking of it, Brad Pitt is at a top level being the brutal, efficient hitman Jackie who at some point seems not to be a ruthless killer, but one of those anti-capitalistic, anti-corporate hipsters occupying Wall Street. Supported by Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta, Andrew Dominik's delivery has everything, in terms of cast performance, to please.
In conclusion, Killing Them Softly is quite a pretentious delivery, which differs from the normally suspenseful mob dramas . Its focused in an absolutely different direction and those who are not ready for Andrew Dominik's style (or have not seen The Assassination of Jesse James) may find it unrewarding or even boring. For the rest, it would be a formidable and stylish delivery.