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It's the Little Things That Make 'The Little Things' Pretty Bad

The Big Lead logo The Big Lead 2/15/2021 Stephen Douglas
a close up of a woman in front of a window: Jared Leto in 'The Little Things.' © Provided by The Big Lead Jared Leto in 'The Little Things.'

Over the weekend, I finally broke down and subscribed to my 37th streaming service, HBO Max. The first order of business was to catch up on the new movies that in a normal year I would have had to go to see in a theater. Instead, I watched Judas and the Black Messiah on opening night from my couch. It was very good. This is great I thought. Nothing can possibly ruin the high of watching first-run movies from the comfort of my own living room.

*record scratch*

Then I watched The Little Things.

Now, I had seen people talking about this movie online. They said it was bad. The trailer looked bad. My friends, it was bad. There are spoilers ahead. Not that it matters. Unless you consider spoilers to be a little thing. In which case, they apparently matter. Because it is the small things that matter. Sorry, the little things matter. You know, like they said in the movie!

Denzel Washington and Rami Malek play an odd couple pair of cops who come together to hunt a serial killer. Except they never have any sort of conflict. They just decide to work together immediately. Then Denzel figures out who the killer is like five minutes later which is fine because we know it's Jared Leto from the trailer. Leto is... something.

Leto is possibly the greasiest killer in movie history. With incredibly long hair, a gut and one of the funniest walks ever captured on film.

I mean, Leto really goes for it in this movie. And then after he finished going for it, he told the director to feel free to cut him from the movie. Via Cinema Blend:

Everybody’s fantastic in the movie, but Jared is so outside the box and gives a different flavor to the movie once he arrives on scene. Jared, at one point in post, when I was doing my director's cut, he texted me and said, ‘Don't let me ruin your movie. Anything I'm not good in, just cut that scene.’ And I said, ‘I wish I had more scenes, Jared.’ We even thought about adding one more scene where we could introduce him a tad earlier, but then looking at it, I thought, ‘I don't know. I think it maybe makes him more memorable, the fact that you wait for him.’

"A tad earlier." Perhaps Leto could have been listed as "guy who did it" in the opening credits. Because he totally did it, even though they tried to make it ambiguous by *SPOILER* killing him in a very hilarious manner without getting an actual confession. I mean, Malek spends a few hours shoveling in the desert and then has the strength to just kill Leto in one blow with the broad side of a shovel.

Director John Lee Hancock says there is no answer to the question of whether or not Leto is the killer, which makes no sense because an innocent man, no matter how weird, doesn't play car games with a police officer and have a secret trap door in his apartment where he keeps newspaper clippings about murders. If you just like murder, but aren't a murderer, you can keep that stuff out in the open. I guess the real little things are the MacGuffins we collected along the way.

Speaking of the little things in The Little Things, the title meant to be very profound. Like, little things are important. You can't miss them or you might not crack the big case. People forget that! Especially, young hot shot detectives. Not that it helps you actually remember the title because I keep thinking it is some other name like "All the Small Things."

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Maybe it's just confusing because there's a Good Charlotte song called "Little Things." And a Chik-fil-A ad campaign that literally uses the hashtag #thelittlethings. Apparently, there wasn't enough time to come up with a better title between now and when John Lee Hancock originally wrote the movie in 1993.

So maybe it was Good Charlotte that should have come up with a different title. Or at least put together a montage of Leto walking around in this movie to their song. He seems like the type who might have been picked last in gym class or told he still sucked even when he made the baseball team.

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Now that's good cinema. That and Judas and the Black Messiah.

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