x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Killing Them Softly

This belated follow-up to The Assassination of Jesse James is easily Brad Pitt's best work in years

Killing Them Softly
Director: Andrew Dominik
Starring: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn
****

Five years after their previous outing together, Brad Pitt and Andrew Dominik reunite for this brutal, brooding drama, complete with neo-noir flourishes to match.

The new film - loosely based on the 1974 pulp thriller Cogan's Trade by George V Higgins - tells of a dystopian America, post Hurricane Katrina when Obama is running for his first election and the nation's economy is in crisis. Against this backdrop lies a motley crew of reprobates.

There is a robbery that goes wrong (courtesy of Scoot McNairy and a wonderfully insipid Ben Mendelsohn) and there is a nervous mobster (Ray Liotta) who may just have to take the fall. Then there's a slick, leather-clad Mr Fix It named Jackie Cogan (Pitt) who, apparently, will set things straight.

This belated follow-up to The Assassination of Jesse James is easily Pitt's best work in years - his final, show-stopping speech is phenomenal. Similarly, James Gandolfini, Liotta and others are clearly relishing the experience. It's tough going, but worth it.