Review-The last 6 months at the box office has been somewhat of a shock. You had films that people thought would deliver massive box office flopping like the last Stallone, Arnold and Die hard films, and films that no one thought would ever catch on to really make killings at the box office. When you say a name like Brad Pitt since Interview with a Vampire, flop is not a word you associate him with. Even his soft box office films got him huge word of mouth or Oscar buzz and generated huge video sales. Killing Them Softly has to be called the new Kalifornia for Pitt, because this tanked at the box office and the word of mouth was very bad that I am not sure if the video release of this film is so anticipated. I will be honest, this is a film that either you are going to love it or you are going to venomously despise it, and be bored by it. To think about where the problem with this film lies is the advertising for it. You think watching the ads you got Brad Pitt as this baddie and you are going to get an all-out action filled crime thriller that will have you on your seat from start to finish. Sadly this is not even close to what you get.
This film is very dialogue driven; it is in constant storytelling mode and expects the audience to be patient enough to follow it. The story is about Markie Trattman who does underground high stakes poker games for the mob. Now, being that I have played in underground poker games and I have seen Rounders too many times, I was expecting these scenes to be a little more realistic. They felt like paid actors going thru the motions, if any of us sat in one of those games we could break the bank on those donk fishes. (a poker term for someone who will throw away their money like an idiot, or what people say about me when they see me coming) Well one night some hooded men hit the game and make off with a stack of mob money, and as you can guess it looks like an inside job to the ones who got robbed. And most of all, it leads to many questions like who has a death wish to rob the mob. Well the film goes into flashback mode as the film plays out with Markie telling the mob how once he arranged a hit on one of his games. We learn that the job is pulled off by Russell and Johnny, and now a high level mob head named Mickey is in town and he is not fucking around, and orders a hit on those two. Enters a hit man played by Pitt named Jackie who likes to kill softly.
The kills we do get in this movie seem dull and uninspired, or trying too hard to come across as cruel. This film I just feel was a great idea on paper and probably in script meetings, but the execution and finished product of this film is so lackluster, esp. for the talent involved that you have to feel for them. This was a film that I was so stoked to see, because I just thought when I heard Brad Pitt was playing a character with an edge and some bad guy that it was out of the normal and might work. I was wrong, because it felt just like every other Brad Pitt role, he was just not convincing and seemed to be lost half way thru this film, and this time there was no Harrison Ford to save him as in the past when he was over his head and trying to convince us. I think looking back at this film, he was trying more to convince himself than us.
4 out of 10