I can’t believe I’m about to say this – in Little Things starring Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, Jared Leto is the best thing in it.
Let me explain.
The first draft of Little Things was written in 1993 by John Lee Hancock. It’s the same neo-noir story – dead women, highly skilled serial killers, jaded old-timers, and fresh-faced rookies. Steven Spielberg passed on this film because it’s too dark. Then Hancock resurrected it by producing and directing the movie in 2019.
There isn’t anything new nor interesting in this ’90s pulpy detective drama. If you aren’t tired yet of its genre conventions, Little Things could pass for disposable entertainment.
But why would you when the far superior Se7en already exists? Unlike this movie, Se7en commits to its noir themes with gripping creativity. It had the perfect combination of the right cast and director, including Brat Pitt in his most attractive years.
Little Things has a solid roster but they’re saddled by a ridiculous plot. It’s a movie where forensics is always inconclusive and circumstantial evidence progresses the story.
The cast play to their strengths to sell their stock characters. Rami Malek is miscast and Denzel Washington compensates for it. But it’s Jared Leto playing a taunting weirdo that liven things up.
Things get interesting in the end and it’s too little too late. Deacon is far too consumed by his own unsolved murder case that it’s become personal. Washington takes his character where it needs to go. Sadly, all the script could do is make him talk to the dead when he’s not staring at their pictures in the dark.
Little Things is a detective drama that’s more than two decades too late. It serves no purpose other than to let Hancock finally make his gestating script into a film.
Little Things is an unfocused plodding drama that wastes its cast and has nothing to offer beyond '90s crime procedural cliches.