Friday, June 28, 2013

"Killing Them Softly" (2013)

This neo-noir has none of the style or artistry that makes the genre worthwhile. It is a brutish, vile story that fails to offer any compelling characters or motivations that would create a tension in the viewer’s mind. There is nothing to like. Instead of a more general commentary on the evils of human nature that the genre was invented to address, we get an all-too-on-the-nose running commentary on how the American political economic system is basically organized crime.

The one almost identifiable character is Brad Pitt’s hit-man, Jackie Cogan. As he interacts with all the deviants, reprobates, and killers in the movie, his reactions and opinions almost make one forget that he is a cold-blooded killer himself. His movie-ending monologue sums up the whole run of the film in a way that could save people a lot of time. Read the quote and you don’t need to waste the hour and a half (or 99 cent special rental that sucked me in) to see what all the buzz is about:

“My friend, Thomas Jefferson is an American saint because he wrote the words 'All men are created equal', words he clearly didn't believe since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He's a rich white snob who's sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So, yeah, he writes some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went and died for those words while he sat back and drank his wine and ****ed his slave girl. This guy wants to tell me we're living in a community? Don't make me laugh. I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now ****’n pay me.”

Harsh, cynical, and over the top. And just maybe in danger of being right.

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