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The Little Things (2021)


I watched Se7en the night before The Little Things. Se7en is by far the better movie. They both revolve around a serial killer being tracked by the hotshot young detective and a retiring, black, experienced detective with an issue from his past haunting him. Rami Malek plays Jim Baxter and Denzel Washington plays Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon. John Lee Hancock wrote and directed the film.

The false teeth Rami wore in Bohemian Rhapsody were distracting. Without the false teeth, my attention was still drawn to his mouth, which I find to be an odd shape. This may be a forever distraction from any of Rami’s future roles for me.

I have a hard time keeping The Little Things separate in my head from Se7en; there are several similarities. They both have problematic police officers doing problematic police work. Hancock wrote The Little thing in 1993, two years before Se7en’s release. 2020 was punctuated with the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. The Little Things, set in 1990’s LA, has scenes of police using excessive force and violating protocols with no accountability.

I think Hollywood needs to stop making films that celebrate police flaunting law and order. Police officers committing crimes should be portrayed as the outlaws that they are. There is a distinct lack of justice for victims of police violence and police are routinely not held accountable for their actions. This needs to stop being glorified. It was not acceptable in 1995, and it has aged worse in the 25 years since.

The murder scenes in The Little Things are not as gruesome or memorable as Se7en and feel pedestrian. The visceral nature of Se7en is part of what made it a good movie. The Little Things never gets those little things right. The ending of The Little Things has parallels to Se7en, but the evidence is a lot less clear. It read to me as cops getting away with something they shouldn’t be able to get away with.

The Little Things is a slog to get through at 128 minutes. It does not feel original and does not have a central thesis on man. It is not an exploration of a serial killer’s mind. It is a glorification of two bad cops doing bad things from behind a badge that should be stripped and exchanged for a prison jumpsuit.

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