Joe Deacon used to be a top detective until the workload and stress caught up with him. Now, he is a Deputy Sheriff and has been requested to go back to his old Police Station in Los Angeles to collect evidence. While trying to collect the required evidence, he is notified that the documents are not ready, and Joe must stay in town a little while longer while he waits for the signatures and paperwork to be completed. While waiting, he begins to talk to his old co-workers and soon hears the word about a series of murders that sound similar to one of his old unsolved cases. Soon he is invited to team up with the leading detective currently on the case, Baxter (Rami Malek). Together, the two will try to catch the serial killer who has taken many young women’s lives.
Performances are incredibly positive here, particularly from Denzel Washington & Jared Leto. Joe (Denzel Washington) evidently has a dark past, but he is also a man with a solid eye for detail. More than that, he is compassionate about the lives lost, even more so when justice has not been served. The performances carried this film along and strengthened the mysterious elements such as who is the serial killer? What happened in Joe’s past? And most importantly, will this killer ever get caught in the deadly game of cat and mouse?
For the most part, Pacing is pleasing, with second and third acts delivering more exciting moments and suspense on screen. But the first act felt poorly done. The start of this film is filled with unusual edits, fast cutaways, and dialogue which has been edited in such a way to make the characters feel as though they are talking super-fast. The first act, in my opinion, hurts the film significantly, and many moments in the plot or even character introductions feel lazy and somewhat vague. Rami Malak is a fantastic actor, but sadly his character introduction is poorly done and suffers from this poor first act. For the most part, his character felt wooden and stiff. Thankfully, this also changes significantly during the film.
Happily, these edits, fast dialogue and pacing change considerably by the film’s second and third act. While the film’s finale is fun and surprising, some elements are a little hard to accept as viewers. If viewers can ignore certain features and let them go, the film’s wrap up is most pleasing and brings a touch of freshness.
Overall, The Little Things has elements done right, but it also has many missed opportunities. Performances are genuinely what carries this film from start to finish, and the mystery of the film is fun right up until the credits appear. The pacing and editing of the first act with its speedy dialogue hurts this film significantly. Perhaps for some, this issue might be a “little thing”. Either way, thankfully, I found this film had more positives than negatives, and it is a dramatic thriller that was great to witness on the big screen
The Little Things (2021) is Available on Blu-ray & DVD from May 19th!