Movie Review of Denzel Washington’s “The Little Things”

A living legend of the Broadway and the Cinema alike, Denzel Washington stars along with the Hollywood new-comer Rami Malek, and actor-musician Jared Leto in a neo-noir crime thriller. Reading that sentence should be enough to convince you to watch “The Little Things”. However, despite all efforts, the general consensus is that the movie was not all that was expected – and not in a good way. 

Opening Scene

The movie starts with a stereotypical scene. A girl, being stalked by a motorist seeks help at a gas station only to find that no one is there. Terrified, she runs through the desert. She escapes because a passing truck driver notices her. The lack of originality of this scene is difficult to put into words.

What Went Wrong?

Many will tell you the movie is slow, old-fashioned, or even simply claim nothing works in it. The truth is, it was never meant to be groundbreaking. It was made to conform to convention, and it was written years before it made it to the screen. The plot is so predictable you practically know it by heart. Nonetheless, the cast and production being as brilliant as it was they could have still successfully made an enjoyable film had it provided some sort of twist on what we already know was coming. 

The Acting

Let’s get this out in the open. Denzel Washington has still got it – the man knows how to act. He stars as the old cop that knows when to follow a hunch, and with Rami Malek we discover how psychologically unhealthy police work can be. They work together in pursuit of a serial murderer, but their evidence suggest something contrary to everything they think they know. 

The actors were all great, they did not fail to deliver through their roles. It is precisely that, which makes the movie a flop. We already expect Washington to act a certain way, we can say the same for his co-stars. In other words, it was meant to be a thriller, but how could we be thrilled with what we already know? 

Predictability In A Thriller Movie

It’s no wonder The New York Times called the movie generic, and was generally unimpressed. As they so aptly pointed out, the viewer might have thought that the movie would be set in contemporary times but instead, we are given a dull version of the past – because let’s face it the 1990’s weren’t that long ago. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of the movie was great, but film lovers will notice that the director and screenwriters failed to modernize the screenplay that was written three decades ago by John Lee Hancock. 

Summing It Up

Hancock first wrote a draft in 1990, and he even had his mind set on Steven Spielberg. The screenplay sat on a shelf until it was finally picked up in 2019, and somehow they forgot that most of the elements of the movie were already done too many times. Casting typical actors for their typical roles was a major blow to the movie. Although fans waited for a long time, the final result was indisputably not worth the wait. 

Trailer

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