In a time where movie theaters are all closed due to COVID-19, HBO Max has made new releases available on their platform for a month after their theatrical release. “Wonder Women 1984” was released in this way and “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Mortal Kombat” will also be released digitally. The latest same day premiere on HBO Max is “The Little Things,” reaching number one in box office receipts upon its release.
With an Academy and Golden Globe Award winning cast, “The Little Things” follows the story of Deputy Joe “Deke” Deacon (Denzel Washington of “The Equalizer”), Sgt. Jim Baxter (Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot”) and their investigation to find a serial killer plaguing L.A.. Their unlikely and unconventional matchup works until similarities start showing between this case and one from Deke’s past. His unusual approach to the case leads him to Albert Sparma (Jared Leto of “Suicide Squad”), a handyman and self identifying crime buff. Without evidence or any proof, Sparma is released from holding. As we glimpse into Deke’s past we learn that it is darker than it seems on the surface, and his involvement in past cases is not what he claims.
Washington’s performance as Deke brings a feeling of twisted wisdom to his character. The movie proceeds slowly until Sparma enters the picture as a suspected serial killer of women. Jared Leto’s performance as Sparma is uniquely Leto, so often playing the role of the mentally unstable. His sunken in eyes, greasy hair, and creepy mannerisms make him seem like the perfect suspect in a cop thriller.
Rami Malek’s performance as Baxter is unlike his former work. As Elliot in “Mr. Robot” he is more of an anti-social genius, while in “The Little Things” he is a confident hotshot cop. Malek’s take on the flamboyant Freddy Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody” is also incomparable to the straight laced family man Baxter.
Cinematically the movie is beautifully shot and appealing to the eye, showing both the chaotic and scenic parts of L.A.. Set in 1990, it also has a retro feeling to it. Unfortunately the cinematography cannot make up for the fact that the plot moves slowly like many thrillers, except this one does not have the satisfying build up and release that leaves you thinking.
Fans of cop movies from the ’90s like Morgan Freeman’s performance “Se7en” might enjoy Denzel Washington in “The Little Things” for a more laid back movie. “The Little Things” is a well-shot, made-for-TV movie with a strong cast but uneventful plot.