“The little things are important.”
Indeed they are. It’s the little details and nuances that make a film stand on their own. The things you fall in love with. Or drive you nuts. You can say the little things make or break a movie.
But…then there are the big things in the film — the story, the acting — that can absolutely destroy a movie.
Unfortunately, it’s both the little things and the big things that misfire in John Lee Hancock’s psychological thriller, The Little Things.
Deputy Sheriff Deacon (Denzel Washington) and Sgt. Baxter (Rami Malek) are on the hunt as a vicious serial killer emerges in Los Angeles in the early 1990’s. However, as they identify a mysterious suspect, Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), their slow burn game of cat and mouse advances in unexpected ways.
The Little Things is a disappointingly bad case of déjàvu that gets caught up in trying to be more than it is.
The narrative spends a lot of time copying tropes that made David Fincher’s Se7en so intriguing and successful, but just doing a half-ass job at it.
Although there are solid moments of tension and anticipation, the story is deeply flawed, inconsistent. It spends the LONG two hours flipping between a clichéd crime thriller and a character study regarding the intense psychological effects of police work.
I think I’m just disappointed because I expected more. Especially with A-List Academy Award winners at the helm.
Well, we can always count on Washington to deliver.
It’s Denzel for crying out loud. Certainly not his best work, but he does what he can to transform into a man haunted by his past and hell bent on redemption — plus it doesn’t hurt that he’s probably getting a solid paycheck.
Malek is unconvincing and boring as the leading detective. I’m sorry but there’s nothing to even note there. He’s just boring. How does this man have an Oscar? Oh right…he lip synched his way there…but that’s another story…
But it’s Jared Leto’s unhinged, diabolically humorous, and unpredictable performance that had me 100% invested in finding out the ending of this messy journey.
So…is it watchable? Sure.
Especially because it’s streaming on HBO Max for the next month! So take advantage of the new content.
But just know, you can definitely find something better…
Overall Thoughts: If you like crime dramas, I’d stick to watching Se7en or Silence if the Lambs. Otherwise, The Little Things is a messy narrative full of big problems.