Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
With theatrical movies basically a treat vs. the gold standard after the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was eager to see ANYTHING that got a theatrical release and was considered an “A list” title. Written and directed by the man behind The Blind Side (great flick by the way) John Lee Hancock tries to burst into the crime thriller genre with her first genre film. Set back in 1990, the film tries to paint a picture of moral gray with hints of Seven and other twisted crime dramas to boot, though at the end of the day Hancock seems to lose sight of all the loose ends and just crumbles into a sea of mish mashed themes and loose ideas that never really gets tied up by the time the credits roll. We’ve got great actors (2 excellent ones, and one upcoming good one), a good director, and a strangely intriguing plot. But when the credits roll it’s obvious to see that this bird dog just can’t hunt all that well.
The great part of package is that Hancock does a great job of building intrigue and mystery during the first 2 acts of the movie. We start out watching ex detective John Deacon (Denzel Washington), a washed up legend who moved from the big L.A. circuit to smaller Kern County after a mysterious incident 5 years ago, come back to his home precinct to pick up some evidence. Only thing is, the evidence is part of a serial killer case that directly ties into a serial killer case that ended up tanking his career. Teaming up with up and coming legend Detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek), the two start to follow the leads and unravel the clues that will lead them back to the true killer.
However, their leads draw them back to on man. A creepy little guy with all the earmarks of a killer on him by the name of Albert Sparma (Jared Leto). Sparma has the little quirks that define a killer. He’s obsessive about crime, he’s got the perfect opportunity to kidnap and murder these girls, and Deacon’s spidey sense is tingling overtime. As they get closer and closer to Sparma the two begin to cross lines that soon begin to blur and end up in their back mirror.
It’s the third act that really brings the film down from “good” to blandly sputtering off into nowhere. The clues were there to see from the get go that this wasn’t your typical crime thriller, but Hancock can’t seem to handle bringing all the loose ends together and making a cohesive narrative. Not to give any major spoilers but the whole premise of the film is up in the air. The story line with Sparma as the killer falters and sputters out as the two detectives end up in over their head and have to cover up their OWN crimes. The story can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be a narrative about the gray areas of tracking down a killer, or whether it wants to pull the rug out from under you and make the story a “gotcha” tale of cops getting away with literal murder. It’s strange but certainly doable, and Hancock can’t seem to bring things together and draw all the strings to a relatable ending, instead shooting off into left field and completely changing the meaning of the movie, as well as just letting all the loose ends that he hasn’t brought to a conclusion fall by the wayside as he moves full bore with his tale of “cops doing gray area things” to be fully palatable.
Rated R for violent/disturbing images, language and full nudity
• Four Shades of Blue
The Little Things is a perfectly capable thriller most of the time, and is really entertaining before the final act. It’s a solid thriller with great performances and an intriguing premise. It’s just that third act of rushed mess that brings it down. With so many ends left to flap in the wind the film just looses the oomph and impact that it could have had. I had a good enough time with it, was disappointed at the ending, but really, The Little Things just becomes a completely forgettable film. A shame considering how starved we are for new theatrical content from A list actors right now. The WB Blu-ray is more than capable with it’s technical specs, giving us good video and audio, but barely 17 minutes of extras. This is what I would consider the epitome of a light rental by definition.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, Chris Bauer, Michael Hyatt
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Written by: John Lee Hancock
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 128 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: May 4th 2021
Recommendation: Light Rental.