Brad Pitt is a hitman brought in to restore some much needed street credibility to a weak-looking mob syndicate in "Killing Them Softly."
Pitt prefers to kill victims “softly” from a distance rather than watching them get “touchy-feely” up close. While trying to fix things he works alongside local mob lawyer Richard Jenkins. James Gandolfini resurrects the spirit of Tony Soprano as a boozing, hooker-loving hit man who has lost his killer touch. Ray Liotta plays a poker manager wrongfully accused of ripping off the mob. They are a solid cast in a dark, artsy movie peppered with hard-to-watch violent scenes.
Slow-motion bullets flying and brain matter splatters. They all try to convey the message that capitalism and organized crime are mirror images of each other, one countless cruel scene after another.
The film is solid; there are many things I liked about it. I love mob movies but the over-the-top violence and the political undertones after the election we just had were a bit too much. The Flick-O-Meter gives "Killing Them Softly" a four out of five.
Set in 2008, there doesn’t seem to be anywhere in the film you don't see George Bush or John McCain or Barack Obama talking on the television about the need to bail out Wall Street or how everyone in America can participate in the country’s promise.
OK, OK, we get it: America isn't just a country; it's a business. The message is hammered into your head again and again. Perhaps they should rename the film "Overkilling Them Softly."