Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Little Things (2021)

Streaming Services: HBO Max
Movie Name/Year: The Little Things (2021)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Length: 127 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Gran Via, Universal Pictures International (UPI), Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros., HBO Max
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: John Lee Hancock
Actors: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, Chris Bauer, Michael Hyatt, Terry Kinney, Natalie Morales, Isabel Arraiza, Joris Jarsky, Glenn Morshower, Sofia Vassilieva, Jason James Richter, John Harlan Kim, Frederick Koehler, Judith Scott, Maya Kazan, Tiffany Gonzalez, Anna McKitrick, Sheila Houlahan, Ebony N Mayo, Olivia Washington, Sophia Castro, Calliah Sophie Estrada, Thomas Crawford, Jeff Corbett, Stephanie Erb
Blurb from IMDb: Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a serial killer who is terrorizing the city.

Selina’s Point of View:
There isn’t a person alive that doesn’t like Denzel Washington (Inside Man, Safe House, The Equalizer). You can’t convince me there is. He’s a professional of the highest caliber. So, when I see his name on a cast list, I expect to be blown away.
This time I wasn’t.
The Little Things felt mediocre, which is a shame because it really tried to be more.
It relied heavily on tropes, but not without reason. Those tropes were supposed to make the audience feel comfortable. Like we knew exactly where everything was going. It was MEANT to feel mediocre, until the end.
It was a really risky choice. They bet everything on the ending and, as good as that ending was, it didn’t excuse nearly 2-hours-worth of basic-bitch filling.

There were plots that went nowhere and horrific choices made by otherwise smart characters. It all led up to this huge reveal ending that was – admittedly – really well done. Unfortunately, getting there was a chore.
No amount of great acting by Washington, Jared Leto (Mr. Nobody, Dallas Buyers Club, Blade Runner: 2049), or Rami Malek (Need for Speed, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Papillon) was able to change just how obnoxious the road to the finale was.
I don’t know what would have helped this movie. A few changes here and there would have made it less annoying to trudge through, but it would have irreversibly altered the shock of the ending. I believe, for the story to work, it had to be laid out the way it was.
I didn’t hate it. As painful as the majority of it was, the last 10 to 15-minutes are going to stick with me. It became memorable.
Would I recommend it? I don’t know. It would heavily depend on who was asking and whether or not their enjoyment of a film is based on the destination or the trip. If it’s all about the trip to you, I don’t think this is the flick to go with.

Cat’s Point of View:
When you have a trifecta of Oscar winners headlining a movie, (such as Jared Leto, Denzel Washington, and Rami Malek), it goes without saying that there’s an expectation of quality. I had high hopes for The Little Things.
The trailer gave me the impression of a really involved cat-and-mouse murder mystery. Based on that and the star-power quotient, I even had this film listed on my Top 20 list for January.
While I don’t regret my decision regarding this movie’s placement, I can’t say that it lived up to all of my expectations. It was a slow burn, and as a result, I felt the passing of the entire 2 hours of its length. There were some twists that elevated the story and left me feeling unsettled, and yet I can’t quite decide if part of that is the disappointment that I didn’t quite get the ride I was hoping for.

I’ve heard The Little Things has been compared to Se7en (1995). While I did get a few vibes of that film as I was watching, I can’t say that the movies are on the same level. Though, I do have to admit that I did have a similar ‘well, damn’ moment, or two, with the big reveals at the end.
It was interesting to experience a throw-back to the time period when payphones were still relevant and beepers were the go-to.
I wish I could say I enjoyed this film more than I did. Alas, I’m rather ambivalent in general. I certainly wouldn’t steer anyone away from it, but I likely won’t be watching it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 48%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 64%
Metascore – 54/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.2/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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