Killing Them Softly Review

 

Killing Them Softly - Turning Gangsters From Pariahs to Politicians 

A Movie Review 

Most gangsters follow a well-trodden path; one gang, in which the movie's protagonist resides, battles against an alternate tribe whose leader is the hero's enemy. There is a confrontation, a resolution and our hero walks away. If Killing Them Softly has one calling card - and it has several - it is the notion, that while the role of protagonist is clear, heroes and enemies are in the cross-hairs like every mob hit throughout.

The film centers around Brad Pitt's character, a lock-jawed assassin named Cogan, and his job remit, namely killing people. This isn't a slick, know-all sniper in a tuxedo, the kind of role Pitt must have been endlessly offered after Ocean's Eleven and Mr & Mrs Smith. Instead, he is a recluse, an assassin who can only kill those he's never met before. Despite never referencing either Roberta Flack or The Fugees, the song remains consisent throughout and Pitt's performance is one of brooding menace. 

Andrew Dominik, the movie's director, had worked with Pitt beforehand, in the underrated 2007 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. 

With the backdrop of the movie being a political pastiche of quotes, the viewer is dragged between the two polarised views of the political parties. If you're looking for a movie which simply prods you gently from set-piece to set-up and inevitable conclusion, then it's probably not for you.

Dominik keeps a firm hand on proceedings to make sure that the message is clear: even if the right person doesn't pay for the crime, someone has to pay. The mark is Markie, played, with his usual gleaming flair, by Ray Liotta. After he is perceived to have whacked another mobster's poker game, he's all-in and at risk of extinction by Cogan.

Cogan is owned in the business sense by anonymous protagonists, but Cogan instead passes the job to James Gandolfini's Mickey Fallon. The former Soprano's desire for drunkenness and penchant for prostitutes mean that doesn't exactly go to plan. When the real perpetrators are pinned, Pitt has to clean everything up himself, and sets about bringing everyone to justice with a weariness in line with the economic crash of the period.

These aren't mobsters gleefully going about their business with one eye on the glory. They are mostly miserable men spiralling into an abyss of worsening debts, akin to a large portion of greater society.

The final scene sums up the film on a thematic level as neatly as it leaves the resulting fall-out open to interpretation. Jackie Cogan is a man who has done too much hard work for not enough money. He has the choice to embrace it and earn more under the same conditions or burn the reputation he has painstakingly established.

Cogan has no other choices. While this is a depressing thought, the film is rooted in a realism that makes the message all the more powerful. There is a lot more to Killing Them Softly than the victims of assassination - we are all in the cross-hairs and Pitt's Cogan isn't even looking us in the eye as he pulls the trigger. 

Spoiler Alert: Don't watch this clip if you haven't yet seen the film.

 

 

Kiling Them Softly Movie Review 

Discuss the subject of this section’s H3 title in a detailed, engaging, thoughtful and insightful way. If this section’s H3 links to a page which explores this topic in more detail, this paragraph should have as its purpose to summarize the subject of the page, and lead the reader to click-through to the page in question. If not, simply cover this H3 title’s subject matter, summarizing the key points. Repetition, un-supported assertions are considered fluff and will not be accepted.

This Page’s Second H3 Title

Discuss the subject of this section’s H3 title in a detailed, engaging, thoughtful and insightful way. If this section’s H3 links to a page which explores this topic in more detail, this paragraph should have as its purpose to summarize the subject of the page, and lead the reader to click-through to the page in question. If not, simply cover this H3 title’s subject matter, summarizing the key points. Repetition, un-supported assertions are considered fluff and will not be accepted.

 

Movie Poster

Killing Them Softly Review

More Info

Release Date Release Date
Running Time Runtime
Genre Genre
Director Director
Screenplay Writers
with Stars
Filmed in Country
Budget Budget

Title

Top 10 movies