The Little Things

By Joanna Langfield

Oscar winners: 3. Movie: 0.

It should have been so much more fun to watch three terrific actors, Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto, combine forces. But too many holes and too little intensity makes the promised bonuses here just not add up.

Washington, a treat to watch as always, plays a Deputy Sheriff tasked to return to his old Los Angeles precinct in an effort to secure some evidence. Deke is welcomed back with not just open arms, but open offices, tossing out any what I would have assumed were, like, laws, so he can assist Rami Malek’s detective in a serial killer case. It might have made more sense, or at least fun for us, had the two cops had some suspicions about one another, but any of that flies away very quickly and, before you know it, Deke is on the case. He’s not supposed to be, but there he is, in the interrogation room, hammering away at suspect Jared Leto (divinely creepy as the possible killer) and, except for one almost whispered warning, nobody seems to have any problem with that. Not enough is made of any of the proper procedures run roughshod to make this a more interesting look at policework back in the 1990s. John Lee Hancock’s screenplay and direction play like an old fashioned beach book/police thriller. But I kept wondering about things like how did Malek’s detective make enough money for a beautiful house with a big pool? And why does Deke take time off his off-the –books stakeouting to go visit his ex-wife? Is Rami Malek the right actor for this role? And why am I consistently diverted from the plot by pesky questions rather than enjoying three fine actors, trying their best, to keep my attention?