The Stream: Slow burn that culminates into nothingness
The Big Screen: Star cast trying to power through
The Final Bill: Star Power with a weak bright line ending– S2S: Movie Review and Trip Fontaine
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writers: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto | See full cast & crew »
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Runtime: 2 hours 1 minute
Platform: HBO MAX 29 January 2021 (USA)
Long awaited and full of stars, The Little Things premieres on HBO Max, and we here at Stream to Big Screen finally got our chance to watch it. With three Academy Award winners like Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto, this film could grab the attention of those Academy members and play well for general audiences. Let’s see if this star-studded cast delivers the big performances to the theaters and streaming service.
The Little Things follows Deke (Washington) a burnt-out Kern County, CA deputy sheriff who begrudgingly teams up with Baxter (Malek) a young and talented LASD detective, to catch an elusive serial killer. And get this, Deke has an eye for the “little things” *wink wink* that always seem to be eerily spot on. Yet, Deke likes to take his liberties with the rules, which entangles Baxter in an internal struggle, going against his otherwise by-the-book ways. Meanwhile, Deke is tormented by a dark secret from his past. Seems like a typical storyline we’ve seen. Old cop revisits his old stomping grounds to help solve a case he couldn’t solve before. Alright, great, so you’ve already got me bored; but it’s not that simple. The film uses the basic story and a slight twist ending to give you the feels, chills, aches, and palpitations. The movie moves along at a smooth but slow pace, always building but I felt like I never made it anywhere. I was fully invested but left hanging. I’m just living with the fact that some filmmakers really don’t know how to end movies anymore. They’ve given up on originality, and they’ve given up on good endings. It’s a reality that us as viewers and patrons deserve better.
Trip: Let me interject on this point. I completely agree that this movie left me hanging. While I was generally conflicted the entire time because I felt like the film wanted to be 2021’s version of Seven; but, there’s no real hook like the creep-factor that that movie had. Deke’s secret is supposed to be the lynchpin that makes you wonder why he’s so invested in the search for this serial killer, but that’s not interesting enough to propel the film forward. The slow burn is fine, but it doesn’t truly catch fire. Pardon the interruption.
S2S: You done?
Trip: blink… blink…
S2S: Okay, then. Outside of the storyline and plot, let’s get to our leading stars. Leto is creepy, greasy, and it’s not his best work. I’d watch him as the Joker again over this but he does bring his character to life in a subtle way. As for my guy, Rami, his character was in a way creeper than Leto’s. Yes, he grows on you as the movie goes on but again not his best work, enjoyable but also meh.
Trip: Raises hand…
Trip: Yeah, Rami is so creepy. I feel like that was bad casting. He did a good job, but he was miscast. To me, Leto was good, but I felt like he didn’t have much to work with. I wish there was more of him.
S2S: Anyway, as for my guy Denzel, this is the closest thing we’ll get to the Equalizer who doesn’t fight anymore. This tells me that Denzel needs to step away from these cop roles for a bit and give us his full acting ability again. Again, his character is fine but really just meh. I can’t tell if it was the poor writing, or the directing, that left us wanting more from our three stars.
Trip: What he said.
Needless to say, The Little Things is a solid movie on execution until the end. In a way, this slow burn of a film floats through in a pleasing way but the end taste is not satisfying. For those who want to go to the theater and risk Covid, save your money and yourself. For those who already have HBO Max, you can munch on a bowl of unsalted popcorn for this film.
Trip: Yep. The Little Things is an okay, paint-by-numbers detective chasing a serial killer movie, but it will leave you unsatisfied. I’d say it is fine to watch sitting at home on a lazy Sunday afternoon.