Given the fact that Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly is only superficially about crime and is more precisely about politics and money and the ’08 meltdown, the one-sheet should say in big white letters, “Now Fucking Pay Me.” Or, if you want to be PG-13 about it, “Now ****ing Pay Me.” I swear to God, those words are the “I drink your milkshake” of this ad campaign.
In my Cannes Film Festival review, I wrote that “the plot is basically about Brad Pitt‘s Jackie Cogan, a hard-as-nails hitman, being hired to rub out a few guys involved in the robbing of a Boston poker game, as well as an unlucky rackets guy (Ray Liotta) who didn’t really do anything but tough shit — he’s on the list regardless. And yet the first 25% to 30% of the film is Pitt-less, focusing on the perps and their grubby, slip-shod realm.
“Cogan, a down-to-business, cut-the-shit assassin, is about doing the job, period. Rationality, efficiency, no personal issues or baggage — an exemplar, in a sense, of ‘clean living.’
“Above all Cogan is no believer in community and equality and Barack Obama‘s high-falutin’ talk about sharing and ‘we’re all in this together.’ Eff that.
“Killing Them Softly, then, is a fairly novel thing — an ‘Obama’s rhetoric is full of shit’ crime movie. Okay, not Obama’s per se, but his inspirational come-together theme of the ’08 campaign (a clip from his acceptance speech in Chicago is used at the beginning and end) or the generic uplift rhetoric of ‘America the beautiful.’ Pull the wool off, take the needle out, wake up to what America is.”