‘Killing Them Softly’ is an intense crime drama where character Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt)is a mob enforcer who investigates a heist undertaken by amateur criminals from a mob protected poker game. The film is set during the time of the presidential election, where the struggle of the economic crisis of 2009 is highlighted to express how it affects the criminals in American society.
The introduction of the film creates a unique combination of sound and editing where what we hear first is followed by what we see, it created an impact where I felt myself immediately becoming absorbed and excited as to what I would expect to see in this film. I felt though that the film never progressed to my expectations of what I had anticipated, I felt myself always expecting something that never was being projected and left me feeling lost and confused.
If you’re looking for a fast paced, criminal action film filled with flying bullets and enthralling fight sequences then this is not the right film for you, ‘Killing Them Softly’ is more of a complex and thought processing film filled with a lengthy script of dialogue. A lot of scenes I felt dragged on for far too long, I didn’t like the prolonged conversations which appeared to make no sense eventually leading me to question the narrative of the film, the conversation that Jackie has with Mikey (James Gandolfini) made me feel disconnected due to the intensity of the length of talking, when the scene finished and moved on it presented Brad Pitt from yet another angle but this time in a café which involved more dialogue, it felt exhausting to watch.
The presentation of the cinematography however was quite impressive; where the slow-motion shooting attempted by Jackie on character Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta) was beautifully shot, the contrast of this dark murder combined with the vintage sound track; created an uncanny and psychotic approach which I felt worked effectively. In addition the acting produced by Ray Liotta when he gets beaten was convincing and added to the realism, which made me sympathise and feel disturbed by the way he cried after being brutally attacked.
I found the film ended on a powerful note by the way Jackie sums up his opinion of America, the script was very frank and to the point but presented an ending with a thoughtful conclusion of how America was perceived by Jackie Cogan. In my opinion I felt ‘Killing Them Softly’ didn’t meet up to the expectations I had, I felt disheartened that what I expected of this film failed to keep me entertained, not just me but also the entire audience left the cinema feeling disappointed with the result of the film. Don’t get me wrong the film has a good form of intelligence in the way it was crafted but, I couldn’t help but feel it could have had more to deliver.