Powerful cast brings their star power and acting prowess to the big screen in this worth seeing three-way acting ensemble. The well cast Warner Bros. thriller The Little Things directed by John Lee Hancock starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto has an old thriller genre throwback feel set. Set in 1990, it all goes well until the head wipper snapper detective played by Malek gets into the killers car, in the middle of the night to head into a pitch black desert to find a body that Leto’s character says he will take him too. Oh and did I say he then tells the detective to dig for the body, not under duress, just causal conversation and the detective does. So at this point, you are saying “we jumped the shark” right about now. What sharp detective, as he was was, would get into the car of the killer, go into the pitch black desert and then…actually dig, looking for a body. Well, this is where we got off the train. An ending that could have ended up at the same place but via a different route.
The stylized look is worth watching. Excellent cinematography by John Schwartzman. Excellent score by Thomas Newman that created a continuous mood from start to finish. It’s just that crossroads storyline that went to unrealistic-ville.
Storyline: 1990 L.A. women are dying at the hands of a serial killers. Many years before. Deputy Joe Deacon (Washington) who used to be head detective in L.A. now lives in central California covering Kern County and has taken a backseat deputy job to forget his professional past but he can’t. Detective Jim Baker (Malek) is on the hunt for a serial killer today. They end up informally working too find the serial killer who has been part of both their tenures. Albert Sparma (Leto) evades them both and plays cat and mouse with the two senior detectives.
Washington is strong as always commanding every scene he is in with intensity and purpose. Malek’s endless dark stare into the horizon holds tone of the character. Leto’s wicked come-get-me killer mystique is superb. He already has had many nominations and likely an Oscar nomination I would say. Leto plays well alongside Washington and Malek as these three Oscar winners take center stage throughout. Like a fine dance between three partners. Because of these choices in casting, the movie makes it worthwhile. You are even willing to forget that cheesy script detour into the desert into ‘give me a brake’ world.
The acting is strong, the script is not as strong. Direction, shooting and set design are strong (forgetting the desert scene plot blunder) so all in all - worth a night of forgetting about life’s real troubles these days to get immersed in a film that takes you away for sure. (If only…not into that deserted desert)