Movie Review – The Little Things – An Engrossing Thriller
My Rating – 3.5 out of 5
Plot Summary – The Little Things
Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon: It’s the little things that are important, Jimmy. It’s the little things that get you caught.Denzel Washinton in The Little Things
This is a throwback to old times when NASA also no idea that Cell Phones will be such a big thing in the world of communication and you didn’t have CCTV cameras everywhere! Set in 1990, in a nutshell, this is the story of cops hunting for a serial killer, who has terrorized Los Angeles for years. It stars Denzel Washington as Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon, Rami Malek as Jimmy Baxter, and Jared Leto as Albert Sparma, and needless to say, Denzel Washington is exquisite, and the others are not even close to his level of intensity.
Deke, as he is known to his peers, has been disgraced and banished from LA to the backwoods of Bakersfield, mostly because of his tendency to get too much into a case and sometimes, willing to bend the rules to justify the end. His inability to solve a homicide case in LA, has resulted in destroying his marriage, his career and whatever little friends he had cultivated during his tears as a cop in LA. The demons of the victims and unsolved murders haunt him nightly, and he is never at peace with himself.
Jim Baxter: Something I gotta know. How’s the guy with the best clearance rate in the department work 15 years without a promotion?
Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon: Maybe I didn’t go to the right church.Denzel Washington and Rami Malek in The Little Things
On the other hand is Jim Baxter, a young cop, much in the mould of Deke himself, who’s replaced Deke in the squad (LASD). He is also intense, single-mindedly focused on bringing the serial killer to justice. When Deke comes to LA on a routine chore to collect some evidence for Bakersfield PD, Jim hears of his legacy of being a good cop, and seeks his help in bringing the killer in. The gruesome nature of the murders affect everybody and the lack of any clues as to the killer leaves them all frustrated.
Deke starts picking up ‘little things’ which others had missed and stays back in LA to help Jim solve the murders. Albert Sparma – Jared Leto, is a loner and a person of interest to the investigation, but there is nothing to bring him in as a suspect. Both detectives are convinced that Sparma is the killer but they don’t have an iota of proof linking him to the spate of killings. Without the aid of cutting edge technology and forensics, that we have at our disposal today, cops were constrained to use traditional methods of investigating, which in the year 2021, is really frustrating!
Jim Baxter: Do you believe in God, Joe?
Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon: When I see a Sunrise or Thunderstorm or Dew on the ground, yes, I think there’s a God. When I see all this, I think he’s long past giving a shit.Denzel Washington and Rami Malek in The Little Things
Conclusion – Movie Review of The Little Things
While this starts off as a promising who-dun-it, the ending is a little bizarre, in my opinion. It is a bit too long in its runtime at 127 minutes, and chopping off some parts of it would have made it crisp and more exciting. The cinematography is excellent, Washington is brilliant and Rami Malek, though quite intense and effective, seems a little stiff at times. Jared Leto as Sparma is brooding and menacing, but not convincing enough – he doesn’t look very natural in the role.
Overall, director John Lee Hancock has done a good job and the movie is engrossing enough, but some parts of it felt, well, a little loose. But for Denzel Washington’s super acting, this is very much a must watch, particularly in these trying times for global humanity!