My Score

Jackie Cogan is a hired enforcer who is asked to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. He acts with the efficiency of a ruthless businessman.

Genre : Crime/Thriller

Cast :
Brad Pitt : Jackie Cogan
Ray Liotta : Markie Trattman
James Gandolfini : Mickey

Director :
Andrew Dominik

My opinion

“Next he’ll be telling us we’re a community”

Jesus, what a disappointing movie this was. The only thing it excelled in, is the fact that a trashy story that you can summarize in a few lines, was drawn out over a period of long miserable 97 minutes. If the intention is to express a political statement that the most important thing in the world is money, and that America is not the idealized “Land of Hope and Glory” and everything is really nothing else than “Just a business”, then I think this movie is completely useless and a waste of time, as this has been demonstrated in many other films. Every well-informed citizen who’s aware of political affairs in the world, knows this. And the fact it’s more lucrative to end up in the crime scene compared to a standard job is generally known. It’s also not shocking news that this isn’t without danger.

Killing Them Softly
The synopsis of the entire film is dead simple : a small local criminal is planning to raid the gamble room of another small local criminal. The brilliancy of this plan is the fact that this 2nd criminal already robbed his own gambling club before. So the mafia will assume he did it again, eliminate him and the 1st criminal and his companions go unpunished. The first criminal hires two nitwits to perform the job. At the same time the mafia sends someone to straighten things out. His plan is to eliminate criminal 2 so the hardcore gamblers gain back confidence and business are back as usual. After a while he finds out who the real perpetrators were. Meanwhile the requested 2nd assassin has been sent back home with a “Return to sender”-stamp on his butt, because of his drinking problem and an unstable state of mind. As a final result criminal number 1 and nitwit number 1 are eliminated. The 2nd robber is safe and sound in prison cause of drug offenses.
Killing Them Softly
Absolutely nothing happens in this movie except for some harsh and brutal scenes (exactly 4). You get however endless chattering about a cheating wife, a drinking problem and a thighs slapping story about driving around in a car with a pack of dogs crapping all over the place. The scene where Markie is terribly beaten up by two accomplices is quite realistic with blood and vomit flying around as a result. The killings are not for the faint-hearted and are shown in a brutal and cold-blooded way. But this was not enough to save the movie.

Killing Them Softly
Even Brad Pitt appearing here as a kind of “The Wolf” from Pulp Fiction who’s assigned to clean up the mess, isn’t enough to make this movie better. The performances of Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini, who really has the look of an experienced gangster, are really exquisite. Beside that the rest is just a sad spectacle. Frankie and Rusell really are two individuals no one would pick to do that robbery. Rusell looks as if he’s drugged all the time and constantly produces nonsensical gibberish.

Killing Them Softly
Fans of alternative movies will love KTS because of the quasi-intellectual overtones and the sophisticated cinematographic recording techniques. You can probably say that the slow motion images used during the beat up of Markie is pleasing to the eye and brilliantly portrayed. It’s also nothing new. In “Disconnect” they used it at the end. Only in that movie the story around these images was much better. And fragments of speeches by Bush and Obama scattered throughout the film will also be appreciated. Not for me. I hear that kind of drivel already enough in the news.

All in all a faint gangster story

My rating 4/10
Links : IMDB 

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1 Response

  1. Good review. A lot of it I agree with.

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