The Little Things centres around the old trope of two mismatched cops, who must work together to solve a case, and along the way, they’ll find similarities which they never expected, but it’s nothing that comes about in a syrupy-sweet way like a soap opera, so you’re safe from that.
Set in October 1990, a time when you couldn’t just make a mobile phone call and had to actually rely on a payphone, Deke (Denzel Washington – The Magnificent Seven 2016) is a cop who’s been bust down a rank. He used to be a detective, but five years ago, a case went wrong, he was emotionally distraught and it destroyed his life, but it’s left him the more down-to-Earth of the pair, even though he comes across as rather washed-out.
He’s partnered with Jim Baxter (Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody), a more ambitious and rather smarmy so-and-so. The current case has women being killed with the same MO (modus operandi), but there’s echoes and similarities between this and Deke’s old case, which the former detective never managed to solve, and it rather haunts him.
The weirdly-named Albert Sparma (Jared Leto – Blade Runner 2049) becomes the main suspect in the murders because he’s an unwashed, dead-eyed loner – another old trope; but whether or not he’s the killer is something I’ll leave you to discover.
All I will say is that there’s a late scene which I thought…
Overall, The Little Things passes a couple of hours, but it’s a bit dull, and feels like we’ve seen it all before, in terms of the mismatched pairing.
The two leads bounce off each other reasonable well, but neither of the main actors feel like they’re putting in any major effort. No-one else in the cast really seems to stand out. I mostly remember Terry Kinney (as Deke’s Captain, who’s a bit of a pain to him) from the excellent TV prison drama Oz, and Jason James Richter (as Detective Williams) was once the kid from Free Willy.
The Little Things is out now on HBO Max and is slated for release in the UK on February 12th 2021. It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 127 minutes
Release date: January 29th 2021 (HBO Max); February 12th 2021 (UK)
Studio: Warner Bros
Format: 2.39:1 (Redcode RAW (8K))
Director: John Lee Hancock
Producers: John Lee Hancock, Mark Johnson
Screenplay: John Lee Hancock
Music: Thomas Newman
Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon: Denzel Washington
Jim Baxter: Rami Malek
Albert Sparma: Jared Leto
Detective Sal Rizoli: Chris Bauer
Flo Dunigan: Michael Hyatt
LASD Captain Carl Farris: Terry Kinney
Detective Jamie Estrada: Natalie Morales
Ana Baxter: Isabel Arraiza
Detective Sergeant Rogers: Joris Jarsky
Captain Henry Davis: Glenn Morshower
Tina Salvatore: Sofia Vassilieva
Detective Williams: Jason James Richter
Officer Henderson: John Harlan Kim
Stan Peters: Frederick Koehler
Marsha: Judith Scott
Ronda Rathbun: Maya Kazan
Julie Brock: Tiffany Gonzalez
Mary Roberts: Anna McKitrick
Paige Callahan: Sheila Houlahan
Tamara Ewing: Ebony N Mayo
Amy Anders: Olivia Washington
Male jogger: Matt Morrison
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.