Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012)
Ray Liotta cowers and even cries while being beat up by a some undersized hired muscle; James Gandolfini babbles about his failed marriage and ridiculous personal problems; Sam Shephard is in just one scene and then is randomly revealed to be dead after having no real central importance. And these figures are all important people in the criminal underworld. The film presents the realistic, vulnerable lives of gamblers, thieves, and hit men. And I like this idea.
But accompanying this is a main character who was written within the boundaries of machismo and invincibility, some overly stylized kill scenes, a failed political allegory, and too short a run time. While Pitt plays what he is very well, I just don’t understand the decision to give us such an honest look at a group of people who don’t usually get the honest treatment, yet depict the main character in such a stale fashion. An expanded film with a chance to more deeply examine everyone (while dropping the mis-placed politics) could have helped this tremendously. Dominik gave us poetry with The Assassination of Jesse James; I wish he would have taken the same approach here because the underlying ideas are fantastic. 7.25/10