Killing Them Softly Review
by James Michael Holtz, WeWatchedAMovie
If you weren’t bothered by the preference of dialogue over action in Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, then Killing Them Softly should suit you just fine. Even with all of the talking and political undertones and style, it’s a mob movie at its heart.
Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) play a couple of filthy (No seriously, they are gross) convicts working for Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola) who want them to knock over Markie’s (Ray Liotta) high stakes card game. It’s a dangerous job and when it’s complete we learn that in these hard economic times, even high-rolling gangsters feel the sting and an anonymous group using the great Richard Jenkins as their mouthpiece wants people dead. Enter Jackie (Brad Pitt) the hit man.
The way Brad Pitt plays Jackie makes this whole thing work. Smart, smooth-talking and a professional at his trade; you can still tell the guy is brimming with rage over god knows what inside. He’s a straight-shooting, no bull-shit, old-school hit man and yet the guy barely raises his voice. He does more talking than shooting but the guy is so cool, I would probably watch him do his laundry for two hours. Then you have Mickey (James Gandolfini) who plays the hit man Jackie hires to help him out. He plays it like a drunken Tony Soprano who’s down on his luck and I’m sorry (I’m not sorry) that works for me.
Killing Them Softly is a take on the economy and current state of politics happening through the eyes of the Mafia. But if you are a fan of Mafia movies like myself? Then this is a Mafia movie with almost Tarantino-like scenes of long dialogue filled with dark humor and a few (yet impressively done) mob hits. The acting is great and the movie looks amazing and even though not a lot happened I didn’t check my watch once. So if you enjoy a good mob film and don’t get offended easily over other people’s political opinions then Killing Them Softly should get a watch. Now f***** pay me.