Take it from this reviewer, there’s no finer date movie this season than Killing Them Softly. You and your special lady can hold each other close as Brad Pitt opens Italian guys’ skulls with a shotgun! Interlace fingers as you thrill to bloated Ray Liotta getting his teeth kicked in by a fat rapper! Heck, bring grandma and the kids! They’ll love James Gandolfini talking about cutting up hookers! And the best part is, it’s family entertainment that’s not just fun, it comes with an important message. Namely, “Everything sucks and people are assholes the end.”
If that sounds like a negative critique, it’s not, I loved this movie. Killing Them Softly is like that angry song you loved when you were 15, or that angry poem you wrote when you were 15. It’s a crime story-as-political-allegory that’s about as nuanced as a middle finger and as subtle as a pistol whipping, but what it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in panache, consistency, and consistently graphic skull trauma. The main point director Andrew Dominik is making, that politics is just as messy and amoral for foul-mouthed, shit-smelling murderers as it is for candidates wearing American flag pins, isn’t a particularly unique or insightful one, but then neither is “Eat the Rich.” Tight, fast, brutal, and gleefully immature, like my lovemaking, it’s sort of a cinematic Motörhead song, not especially smart, but there’s a certain poetry to getting punched in the face. Art in the same way that a brick through the window has a beauty that transcends the thrower’s justification.