- Hamish Hart
The Little Things (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
ACADEMY Award winning actors Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto star in what appeared to be a dangerous game of cat and mouse between the three, and while it isn't a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, The Little Things' glimmering potential ultimately was its greatest downfall.
Set in 1990's Los Angles, small country Sherriff Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) is sent to LA to acquire evidence. However, in an ironic twist, Deacon finds himself embroiled in the search for a serial killer in the City of Angels alongside Jim Baxter (Rami Malek), a newly-appointed detective in the area as the older dog must teach the new stud some new tricks in order to crack the case.
Hopes were high for The Little Things as it looked to be a return-to-form for director John Lee Hancock, known for his work on critically-acclaimed films such as The Blind Side and Saving Mr Banks. However, Hancock has taken a step backwards by over-promising audiences during the opening sequence and under-delivering by the film's controversial finale.
The Little Things also suffered from overexposure as the film was way too long for the simple message it was trying to tell, and while the underlining meaning was effective for the story it was trying to tell, the message never felt earnt due to the amount of suspension of belief needed for it to effectively work on top of the lengthy runtime.
Positives are still aplenty however as the cinematography was tremendous, conveying a range of emotions from every scene in a convalescent manner which never felt overbearing or detrimental to the plot. Los Angles' wide open plains and gritty night-time atmosphere lent itself to uncomfortably tense scenes during Rami Malek and Denzel Washington's pursuit of the film's standout actor, Jared Leto.
Dawning the look of Charles Manson and the personality of The Joker, Jared Leto does a tremendous job as a snivelling weasel wanting to make the lives of Malek and Washington that little more stressful through his patronising voice and insecure thousand-mile stare. Malek and Washington also deliver passable performances, but feel wasted in a film that could have been so much more.
The Little Things does shine in select places such as its cinematography and performances, but its monotonous journey to a conclusion that somehow feels both good and bad results in an indifferent experience that will, unfortunately, be quickly forgotten.