Denzel Washington leads an all-star cast The little things;; A crime drama with a slow burning time that puts a lot of strain on character development, but is difficult to entertain. The serial killer plot is tarnished by secondary subplots. The secret at the core of the film is overtaken by the complex portrayal of characters. The result is a well-played ensemble in a sluggish narrative. The little things had to be more concise. The performances are good, but the arduous pace loses steam.
The little things takes place in 1990 in Southern California. A serial killer chases young women. Deputy Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon (Denzel Washington) is from Bakersfield to collect evidence in his old Los Angeles district. He is warmly greeted by his former colleagues, but not warmly received by the captain (Terry Kinney). He wants Deke to be back on the road as soon as possible. Detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek), a young hotshot responsible for the LAPD’s investigation into the murdered women, shows great interest in Dee’s presence.
Baxter invites Deke to come with him when another victim is found. He is mightily impressed by the older officer, but doesn’t understand why the captain is so careful with Deke. When the clues point to a strange suspect (Jared Leto), Dke’s obsession with the gruesome murders seduces Baxter as well. Haunted by his past, Deke is a murderer who needs to be stopped. Your quest for justice is beginning to blur ethical boundaries.
The little things takes the time to think. The search for the killer is only part of an extremely detailed plot. Deke’s backstory, his real motivations, are just as important to the movie’s progress. This duality is fascinating for the main character’s arch, but has a detrimental effect on the overall pace. The little things slows down significantly when trying to push it forward. Tense moments are too often emptied. It’s difficult to get back on the train once you’ve jumped off. This is particularly evident in two central scenes between the investigators and Jared Leto.
Writer / Director John Lee Hancock (The blind side, The muggers) gives space for its impressive cast to fully inhabit their characters. Denzel Washington dominates the screen with his titanic presence. As always, he is huge, broken down and full of guilt from a life in which he chases evil. Rami Malek holds his own as well as a creepy hellish Jared Leto. Who looks greasy enough to roast chicken on your forehead? The Oscar-winning trio holds the bargain. All Hancock had to do was measure her performance in editing against the trajectory of history. This is usually the case when you are doing well in an act that is dragging on. This version of HBO Max streaming had to be tweaked in more detail to reduce the pauses and focus on the more dynamic parts of the script.
The final act of the film is sure to lead to discussion. The little things takes an unexpected turn that I found totally unrealistic, but understand the point John Lee Hancock is trying to make. He offers a fascinating conclusion that may leave some viewers unfulfilled. The little things is a production of Gran Via. It will simultaneously be released in theaters on January 29 and streamed on HBO Max by Warner Bros.
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