Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, and Chris Bauer
Runtime: 127 Minutes
Rating: R (for violent/disturbing images, language and full nudity.)
The plan was for The Marksman this week but I had heard such good buzz about The Little Things. This was available same-day release on HBO Max. However, this filmed actually led the box office. Roughly 5 million dollars. This is obviously much lower than “normal” numbers in the 35-45 million range. I was still impressed and surprised with the numbers. This shows how much people miss going to the cinema. Trust me, the last 2 months when I’m at a theater it’s normally myself. Maybe a random date, but it’s usually a ghost town. I can’t wait for COVID to be behind us and people coming out all over back to the movies. If I was guessing, I think July will be the big month, and my Dad who watched Top Gun probably 100 times, never finishing it, wants to see the new one. Back to The Little Things. I’ve always been a big fan of Denzel Washington and Jared Leto, Let’s see if this will be a 5-star film.
Onto the film.
We open in 1990 in California. I expect this film to be a big time jump to 2020-2021 but it only speeds up a few years. As the film starts, it’s nighttime, and a young woman is driving down a highway. Singing. Enjoying your road trip. THEN we see someone pursuing her. She narrowly escapes as a truck driver stops and the mood is set. Creepy music – check.
Years later (it doesn’t say) we meet one of our protagonists Sheriff Joe Deacon (everyone calls him Deke). He is called to a murder scene to collect evidence on a recent murder. We then learn that Deke (Washington) was formally a detective, and left for unknown reasons.
We then meet our 2nd protagonist of the film. Jimmy Baxter (Malek) is the new lead detective (Deke’s earlier position.) and the two begin to work together as the murders start to pile up. All of the murders link up to one Deacon (Washington) couldn’t solve years before. Throughout the film we slowly get more details on why he essentially went into exile.
The chemistry between both leads is impressive. Immediately you felt them as a team, and it felt many times that Deke was looking at Jimmy remembering himself as a younger man. The support cast works too. You know when you see a film, and see actors that look familiar but you can’t place them? This film is peppered with these roles and they all mesh well together. However, one member of the cast is unlike any of the others. We meet a potential
suspect named Albert Sparma (Leto.) He’s obsessed with true crime and incredibly creepy. Obviously he’s a prime suspect. They have a scene in an interrogation room and all three actors add tension and action you wouldn’t expect. VERY impressed with that scene.
I’d love to give this film 5 stars and it’s VERY close. However, the runtime is a little long. I found a few scenes dragging and I’d start to lose my concentration on what I was watching. This doesn’t take anything away from the excellent cast, and that script. You go in expecting a movie similar to the many whodunits we’ve all seen. However in my opinion, the tone shifts more to the characters and less on the murders. We learn about obsessive with the “good guys” and “bad guys” and I appreciated that aspect that isn’t used a lot. If you could describe this movie in one word. It would be grey. Characters blend together in an unsettling way which was a winner. I plan to watch this again at home and hope that I find more clues. Side note this film is one you will talk about with your friends and family. Bring a friend, spouse, or partner with you. Also DON’T mess with Denzel Washington. EVER 4 stars out of 5
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper