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11-30-2012, 06:47 PM
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Killing Them Softly (2012), directed by Andrew Dominik: A seemingly fool-proof plan is hatched by a trio of lowlife crooks to knock of a mob-protected poker game. After they pull off their heist, Jackie (Brad Pitt), a hired gun, is called in to settle accounts by teaching these morons a lesson about who they are messing with. He imports some hired muscle from New York (James Gandolfini) to help himself, but the muscle isn't exactly in peak form these days. So Jackie, hardly skipping a beat, takes matters into his own hands. This inevitably involves a lot of graphic brutality and bloodshed. With the bad guys making small talk in a car, the first couple of scenes seem like warmed-over Tarantino. But, then, what turns out to be an excellent script quickly finds traction, and the movie suddenly progresses like clockwork from one well-acted scene to another. Unfortunately, Dominik makes frequent use of impossible-to-ignore television commentary of the 2008 presidential campaign, whiich plays loudly in the background of way too many scenes. He oversells the point that the politicians talk about community when in reality there is no such thing. Rather it is a case of every man for himself and nothing really works well any more, not even the crooks. Though I could have lived without the ham-fisted parallels between political and corporate malfeasance and crooks, which has proved a deal-breaker for many critics, the technique didn't bother me a whole lot because Pitt was so much fun to watch. The movie is little more than him in a series of sequential conversations with various people, and he nails every single scene he is in with an odd combination of common sense and easy menace. It is a wonderful performance in a flawed but still very entertaining movie.

Last edited by kihei: 12-01-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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