Like Peter Buchardt I was expecting an action movie starring Brad Pitt and a shotgun. This was not entirely what I got however.
Killing Them Softly is so much more about the dialogue, situations and state of mind of the characters. The shooting and mutilating of people steps into the background and instead you are trying to understand the issues that the characters are facing.
Also there is no main bad guy, no one to focus on defeating or rooting against. Instead we are faced with what seems to be every day life for mobsters when some upstart punks think they can rob one of their joints.
The idea is great, but in my opinion the execution is not fully satisfying. For this to work you need to be a master of dialogue like Tarantino, and in my opinion Andrew Dominik is not there (yet?). It does however deserve points for trying though.
Brad Pitt does an excellent job as always. He is highly believable as an efficient yet humane hitman.
James Gandolfini’s part does not make sense to me. He is in a miserable place in his life, but why sink that low? This makes it hard to judge his performance, as I was generally annoyed about how his characters was acting.
Scoot McNairy does an alright job playing a dumb robber, and his Aussie friend played by Ben Mendelsohn, is acceptable as well.
When you expect an action movie and you get a drama instead, you need it to be very well done. This movie has the intentions, but not the full ability to pull it all the way, in my opinion.