Taking place in the ugly underbelly America, Killing Them Softly is the story of Jackie Coogan, a mob enforcer who is hired to clean up the mess after a mob protected card game is knocked over by three foolish individuals. Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly is a stylish genre tale that is superbly crafted and ultimately extremely cynical about the so called American Dream. From the opening scene it is very clear that Dominik has something to say about the state of America. Taking place during the presidential election of 2008, this tale of mob bureaucracy and greed mirrors the fight for the white house. Whether through hazy billboards in the background or news coverage on a car radio, the film wants to strip away this barrier between the poverty stricken streets the mob runs and the country the president runs. This is also illustrated in the conversations between Coogan and Richard Jenkins character, the man in-between Coogan and him employers. These conversations perfectly capture the bureaucracy of the mob and its willingness to extinguish things for "the greater good' much like our countries leaders. The film makes a point to show how money and money alone runs this country and this story and I found it to be a strong allegory. Killing Them Softly makes the case that both are a business which inevitably means everyone is out for themselves. While drenched in cynicism, Killing Them Softly has a lot of great dark, comedic moments especially centered around the two idiots who knock off the card game. Everything about this film is well done from a great script to fantastic cinematography which perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of the film while at times even elevating the theme through visuals. Being a crime story the film does have violence and Dominik makes sure it is felt. Every scene of violence is portrayed in a brutal and honest way making it hard for the viewer to even stomach at times. Killing Them Softly is an angry film about the American way and whether you agree with the filmmakers or not, there is no denying that the film is expertly crafted in every way.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.