The Little Things
The Little Things (2021) movie review
The first of HBO/WB’s theatrical streaming releases, The Little Things stars Denzel Washington and Rami Malek as a Deputy Sheriff and a hot shot detective who end up working together to catch a serial killer in LA. And if you think that sounds familiar, you would be right! It’s Se7en (1995). The Little Things premiered last weekend to a generally poor reception, seemingly due to its unoriginal premise and wasted cast.
The Little Things is one of those films that you watch, and you might not know why it’s not good, just that it’s not good. However once you dig in, there’s no shortage of problems beneath the surface. (Actually there’s problems on the surface too, but that didn’t sound as cool.) So let’s look at the little things wrong with this 90s throwback. (Again, sounded cool! Not a very accurate description…)
Two things I noticed right away were the completely bland screenplay and the intent to make the film seem more exciting through showy editing and cinematography. While the latter is just that, the lack of a strong screenplay gives the talent (which I should point out seems to be the selling point) absolutely nothing to do! While Oscar winner Jared Leto does take his role and run with it, Oscar winner Rami Malek and two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington are forced to give an effort that consistently feels below their talent. Because the writing for their characters is exactly that.
The film manages to string these three talented actors along for almost two hit-or-miss hours full of confusing plot points, a serious lack of character backstory, and some genuinely entertaining moments sprinkled in. However it really doesn’t matter just how not-good the film is for two thirds of its runtime. That last act though? Yeah that really matters. Aaaaaand it’s pretty terrible. I won’t really say why at the risk of spoiling it for anyone who does want to watch this film, but it is so painfully resolute, but somehow trying really really hard for a moody cliffhanger. It’s like a twelve-year old running away from home. You can’t drive, and the audience (parents) have longer legs than you expected.
Tack on one of the least fitting scores I’ve heard in a thriller and you get a tonal mess of finale to wrap up an already weak film. Seriously, I really like Thomas Newman, but I didn’t want to think about how Finding Nemo (2003) while pondering the vague moral grey the film placed in front of me. Aside from that, there isn’t much reason to watch. Jared Leto is really great, but Denzel Washington and Rami Malek don’t really get a chance to shine thanks to just underdeveloped character arcs. There is a good film with intention somewhere buried in here, but right now it’s best to let this case go cold. 4/10.
So The Little Things? Did you watch it? What did you think? And what is a film that you can think of that completely wastes its cast? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let me know! And if you liked this review and you want to read more like it, let us know in the comments what you’d like us to write about next!
-review by Ryan Prince