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Lamar's Review: Killing Them Softly

This was not what I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a Brad Pitt movie where he is a cool hit man and the action is nonstop. What I got was a very dark, dark comedy where Brad Pitt is a cool hit man and the dialog was nonstop. Now, don’t get me wrong there was action and it was violent, bloody, and when in slow motion came across like a beautiful dance. But this movie is all about the dialog between the characters.

This is not a date movie unless you know for sure your date is really into dark violent comedies, or you happen to be dating Sheri Lynch. I took Carla with me and she was less than thrilled. There are going to be a lot of guys that go to this and not be impressed. Me, I really liked it but I can see where this would be an acquired taste.

The movie is set in 2008 and it opens up with news clips about the banking scandal and dangers our economy faces. At the same time a small business man is hiring 2 really stupid small time criminals to rob a mob poker game. When this has happened before it shut down all the underground poker games in the city crushing the criminal economy. Just like the banking industry and Wall Street the underground poker economy can not survive if you participants lose confidence in the security of the game. All through the movie news clips of the economy problems and Obama speeches play in the background. The mob brings in a fixer named Jackie (played by Brad Pitt). His first idea is to kill Markie, the guy running the game. He is played by Ray Liota. The mob lawyer he deals with, played by Richard Jenkins says the people he represents doesn’t think Markie had anything to do with it. They just want to give him a beat down to make sure. Jackie says it doesn’t matter whether he did it or not, he has to be killed to calm everyone’s fears, instill confidence, and get the games started again. Jackie has a particular viewpoint on killing somebody. He hates the crying, begging, and wetting their pants. He chooses to kill them softly from a distance.

When Jackie tracks down the people responsible for the robbery he brings in Mickey, another hit man to help. Mickey is played by James Gandolfini. Mickey is a washed up hit man with a bad drinking problem and an addiction to hookers. He is very jealous of his wife and has anger problems. The two scenes between Gandolfini and Pitt are worth the ticket price. Even if you had never seen him play Tony Soprano Gandolfini brings a huge amount of menace when he smiles with those half closed eyes. It was my favorite part of the movie.

This is a very intense and detailed movie in the way it is shot. There is not one frame that doesn’t have an exact meaning and the dialog is very real to the movie. This movie goes past the normal glamour of movies about mob people and hit men. It is a greasy grimy dirty world of bad people doing awful things to one another.

137 minutes, Rated R for language and very strong violence.

This movie moves at a slower pace than you expect and it is very detailed. It is not for everybody but I really liked it.

My Score: 5 Buds