Killing Them Softly

Ray Liotta has passed his prime. Brad Pitt has not, so I still had hope for this movie. I mean, a modern gangster movie with those two and James Gandolfini - this should be reliably good, right? Well, err... No.

The problems start right at the beginning. I mean, they can't even get through the title sequence without this jarring visual and political speech haphazardly spliced together. And that is when I finally get to the title at all. There had to have been fifty silent logos that cam up on the screen first. I get it - you're a company that spent money on this, so you feel you are owed my time to look at your logo, as I have paid for the right to watch it... wait, that makes less sense now that I read it back.

Anyway, the whole story happens at the time of Obama's first successful presidential campaign. I'm pretty sure there is supposed to be some kind of symbolism or parallel that is supposed to be going on through the story, but it was too complicated for me to give a crap about. I had enough trouble trying to care about the characters.

Ray Liotta pretty much had a bit part; it was barely worth listing his name on the billing. James Gandolfini had a slightly bigger part, but he was ultimately an ancillary character that didn't really need to exist.

I have hated Brad Pitt for some time. I don't hate his acting, I just *want* to hate his acting. Every time I see him in a film, I think to myself, "Yeah, he was really good in that role, but he sucks." Unfortunately, he rarely sucks in his acting, so I can't say it with much conviction. He even did a good job in this role. It didn't save the movie, though.

I suspect this movie's biggest issue is that it was a victim of its own attempt to be stylistic and gritty at the same time. It failed at both and was subsequently pretty boring.



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