Bloody mob movie

Killing Them Softly Alliance/Weinstein Rating: 14A 97 minutes

While there are some things to admire in Killing Them Softly you can’t help but feel you’ve seen this story before.

Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn play two not-so-bright hoods that knock over a mob-protected poker hidaway and take it for several thousand dollars. But you know they’re not going to get away with it, especially after an unhappy mobster boss played by James Gandolfino calls in a ruthless and efficient hit man played by Brad Pitt (who also co-produced the show) to track them down. Ray Liotta, who runs the poker games, and Richard Jenkins as a mob lawyer, fill out the cast.

All this takes place in 2008 during the presidential election (although Obama seems to be the only person running) to make a dubious comparison between politics and crime, and even the criminals seem to have fallen on hard times. It also is suppose to take place in New Orleans, but there are no recognizable views of the city; only damaged houses left over from Hurricane Katrina in a could-be-anywhere nameless urban and commercial sprawl where it seems to rain a lot.

Pitt is the best thing in the movie but none of the characters are very likable and they spend a lot of time talking, and talking even more. Violence tends to explode suddenly and a bloody, vicious attack on Liotta is especially unpleasant to watch. But if you like your mob movies gory, violent and sometimes boring, this is the one for you.

Rating: two deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.