Brad Pitt stars in this run of the mill gangster revenge flick, distinguished only by a couple of imaginative cinematic flourishes, and an interesting sound track.
Pitt plays an enforcer, hired by the Mob to restore order after three amateurs hit a Mob organised card game. That’s pretty much it plot wise.
Killing Them Softly does have it’s moments, the slow motion sequence when the Ray Liotta gets whacked is effective, and the film has an intersting look, with a washed out colour palette accompanied by an off-beat sound track. It also attempts some character development, with long dialogue sequences, but these lack the sparkle and wit to hold the viewers attention.
The film is set in 2008, (though it’s more like a 70’s movie in feel) against the back drop of the Obama first inauguration and it seems to want to draw a comparison between the new Presidents “Audacity of Hope” and “One Nation” message, with the crime ridden reality of many of America’s large cities, but this is never really explored or developed in any depth.
Performance wise, Brad Pitt puts in yet another completely forgettable appearance, mumbling through his lines, and seemingly content to just look cool in his aviators and leather jacket. James Gandolfini plays, what else, a hood who can’t hold it together to complete the revenge hits. The more interesting performances come from the two amateur robbers, played by Scoot McNairy and Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn
Killing Them Softly does have one redeeming feature – it’t doesn’t feature that god awful song from Roberta Flack