Killing Them Softly is a movie I’ve been craving to see for a long time and maybe it’s because 2012 has had such an amazing track record, but there wasn’t much doubt in my mind that I was going to enjoy Killing Them Softly. This is one of the most disappointing movies I’ve seen in a long time. I’m not saying it’s one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a while, I’m saying it’s one of the most disappointing. I was expecting one thing, what I got was unfortunately not a good movie.
This is the second feature film by Andrew Dominik and just like his first feature, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, KIlling Them Softly stars Brad Pitt and a role he does wonders with. Unlike his first feature, Killing Them Softly was a bad movie. I loved The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, it was an incredibly well made film and the acting was amazing. This was another reason I was excited to see Killing Them Softly, it seemed to have that great combination of director and actors. The actors did what they could with the flat characters they were given and lightning just wasn’t able to strike twice when it came to Andrew Dominik’s career.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was just under three hours, while Killing Them Softly is just a little over an hour and a half. Killing Them Softly manages to feel longer than Dominik’s first feature. Now how did he manage to do that? It had something to do with meaningless scenes of dialogue that went absolutely nowhere, characters that could’ve easily been cut from the movie because their arcs or lack their of offer nothing to the film other than more wasted time, but worst of all it offers up for our appreciation a simplistic and predictable story with an obvious theme that could’ve been established in 5-minute short film.
I’ve read comments of people who enjoyed the film expressing that the reason there are people who don’t like it is because they don’t understand the underlying themes. My main compliant with the movie is that there was no way I couldn’t understand the point of the movie. There was no subtlety in the movie whatsoever, there was one purpose the film was attempting to get across and it was shoved farther and farther down my throat. Throughout the entire movie it is made completely obvious what the film maker’s agenda in making this film was and then the theme is punctuated by its last moments which is when I realized how much of a waste of time the movie really was.
If there was a bit of light that could be found in this dark and dull film, it would be some brilliant camera work and some good acting. The film was shot beautifully and when it comes to the performances I just can’t complain, it’s just sad these actors were given such lackluster characters and unimaginative dialogue. Killing Them Softly was a disappointment through and through and I can’t wait to just forget about it because the more I think about it, the more I just get frustrated.