The Little Things

The Little Things ★★½

This is a very strong argument that we’ve let Rami Malek get too far. Yes, he was good in “The Master,” but that’s part of what led to him wearing chompers and doing a Freddy Mercury caricature in what is still the worst movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture in my lifetime that was also directed by a pedophile. Here, his stiff and dissonant acting here almost single-handedly threatens to derail an otherwise pleasurably generic throwback to the “Bone Collector” glory days of my childhood.

Denzel wears this kind of role like an old hat: any other actor would look silly doing this at their age and yet Denzel still absolutely fucking brings it, despite the movie not really requiring that of him. Jared Leto is a greasy Van Nuys messiah who looks like he plays a seven-string Ibanez in a nu-metal band. The movie is, against all odds, far more interesting and engaging when he’s onscreen. Wait until you hear how he pronounces “holy Guacamole.” And Rami is, well... he’s Rami. There’s not much on the page for his character, but he still can’t be asked to redeem the entire thing. 

This is the kind of movie you might have watched on a plane in a pre-pandemic world, only to be pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t actually terrible. If nothing else, it’s most definitely the best thing that John Lee Hancock has ever directed. Maybe we’ve become so starved for anything resembling an analog cinematic experience during quarantine that we’re entertained by a movie that seems to regard Gary Fleder’s “Kiss The Girls” as a kind of holy creative document. It’s also a movie where one character tells another that his “dick is as hard as Chinese arithmetic.” Use that information however you see fit.

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