Summary: Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a serial killer who is terrorizing the city.
This will be a short (overdue) review. I hope my confused thoughts on this movie… make sense lol.
The Acting. Denzel Washington is Joe “Deke” Deacon, a deputy sheriff who pretty much involves himself with a case. I mean, Jim does ask him to come along and he’s super helpful but he ends up involving himself lol to a larger extent. He’s haunted by a previous unsolved case and the current case is super similar. He is still affected by this. Denzel is great as he always is but I wasn’t that interested in his character. Plus, I hated the way he chewed his gum lol. Rami Malek plays Det. Jim Baxter, this young upstart who seems to be very good at his job, he wants to get this case solved and in the beginning, he’s a bit by the book but then he begins to do some things that may not be protocol but his end game to catch this killer and he’s slowly getting too wrapped up in this case. I love Rami Malek, I have loved him since his first film appearance in Night at the Museum (*swoons*) and I thought he was so good and I was way more interested in him, might be a little biased but I think it would have been more interesting to follow his descent and obsession closely. It was his case after all. Jared Leto plays Albert Sparma who is a regular, weird and working man and he gets wrapped up in the case, I won’t say how, but he does. I like Jared Leto a lot, I know lots of people don’t, but I do lol and I thought he played this part really well. He and Malek had really good chemistry in their scenes and I would have liked to see more.
Beautifully Shot. This movie manages to maintain its tone throughout the film, it never felt like different movies meshed into one. It also looks really nice, it has this cloudy and unstable feeling to it which I guess is the overarching point considering how Deke’s mental state is unstable already and Jim’s is affected as the case continues. I think the movie does a nice job in portraying that in how the film looks. Kudos to John Schwartzman who is a great cinematographer.
The idea. So, this movie isn’t really anything new. We’ve seen this kind of story before where the officers/detectives get too caught up in their case and it affects them to the point where they question their own sanity, especially if it’s similar to unsolved cases they might have had or read about. Which is what happens. I like the idea that humans are human and they are empathetic creatures and get affected by these situations. They want the victims to see justice but it breaks them apart from the inside. I think that’s a great psychological thing to explore and with both Deke and Jim, we see this.
Predictable. I’m not going to spoil the mystery but I will say that I knew who the killer wasn’t. We don’t necessarily see him in the beginning but we see enough of him to help distinguish him from the current suspects. When they were so sure about someone else, I was like “but… that guy at the beginning looks nothing like these guys…” and I was right. Also, I knew what Deke was going to do in the end, I was a little unsure but I had a rough idea and ended up being right. I just think this movie could have potentially introduced new surprises and new directions but it didn’t do that. Instead, it felt by the book and I feel like that has something to do with the fact that we followed Deke’s character.
Missed Opportunity. This movie should have followed Rami Malek’s character. Deke’s character feels like so many detectives in movies like this who are haunted by past cases that they couldn’t solve or that had grisly endings and that affects his day to day to life. I am aware this happens in real life but I feel like Det. Jim might have been a better and more interesting character to follow because he’s fresh, this case seems to be like the first case that he’s struggling on not to mention his interactions and moments with Albert… when we followed those two at the end, I was so invested because those two characters were more interesting. I think this is such a missed opportunity in not following Jim.
Overall, this is a short review but the movie was disappointing. I feel like it could have been much better. Perhaps if it followed Malek’s character instead of Washington might have worked better. Maybe if it was a mini series it might have worked better. I’m not sure but while the acting was amazing and the movie was beautifully shot with great ideas; the final project didn’t work in the end for me. It was predictable, ended exactly how I thought it would. For a long time there felt like nothing was happening and in the end, it just ended up being a big blah.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Little Things? If so, what are your thoughts? Which character do you think the movie should have followed? Deke, Jim or Albert? Let me know in the comments below!
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