By Brenda De La Cruz
An old-school, Hollywood-like, detective vibe is what greets viewers in writer and producer John Lee Hancock’s film “The Little Things.”
The movie is based in Los Angeles during the ‘90s. It follows Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon, played by Denzel Washington, as he returns to the city of angels for a brief visit, but ultimately stays to crack a murder case.
Los Angeles has a serial killer on the loose and Deacon teams up with Los Angeles Sheriff’s detective Jim Baxter, played by Rami Malek, to try and solve the case.
The pair, although complete opposites, begin to narrow down their suspicion onto one suspect, Albert Sparma, played by Jared Leto, and they all become entangled in a web of mystery.
The film sets a nostalgic mood through the music choices, accompanied by images of the surrounding businesses and landmarks. The intro scene for the film takes the audience back to the days of colorful scrunchies and ‘80s pop music.
The movie’s soundtrack is full of gems that range from The B-52’s and Aaron Neville, to Etta James and Mary Wells among many more greats. This soundtrack will be sure to have music enthusiasts reminiscing about great music.
Washington, the Oscar winner, gives a witty and remarkable performance as a seasoned Deputy and does not shy away from telling others how he feels. Washington is known best for his roles in “Training Day,” “Malcom X.” Fences,” and many more.
Leto, known for his role in “Requiem for a Dream,” “Suicide Squad,” “Urban Legend,” and his band, “Thirty Seconds to Mars,” plays his role of a suspected murderer very well as seen through his creepy vibe and behavior. Leto was nominated for both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role for this film.
Lastly, Malek, best known for his role in “Mr. Robot,” but even more so for his lead role as Freddy Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” complemented Washington’s character finely by butting heads and eventually working together.
There are many reasons why this movie can sit well with its audience. It is not your typical gun-slinging, who-has-more-cojones-than-each -other type of film. This film goes beyond that and shows its audience behind-the-scenes detective work. The storyline and characters bring forth a look into how tedious and frustrating solving a murder case can become. Hancock captivates the true sense of what it must feel like to be a detective and allows viewers to walk in the character’s shoes.
“The Little Things” has a running time of 2 hours and 8 minutes and is rated R for violent and disturbing images, language, and full nudity. It can be viewed in two drive-ins near Riverside and Montclair, as well as on HBO Max.