The Neo-Noir thriller from the year 2021, Killing Them Softly, was quite an adventurous flick to turn on. Even today, it can fulfill your fun weekend watch. But apart from a fun watch, the movie told a lot more about the situation of Americans during the time Barack Obama took over as the President of the Nation. In a way, there were slight hints. So here we are, taking a look at what the movie was all about. Then we will break down the meaning and end of Killing Them Softly piece by piece. Questions concerning Jackie’s motives and ending speech will be answered as we get Killing Them Softly Ending Explained.
Andrew Dominik wrote and directed Killing Them Softly. The movie takes inspiration from George V. Higgins’ novel Cogan’s Trade (1974). Starring Brad Pitt in the lead role, the film tells the story of a disrupted structure the country of America was following during the 2008 financial crisis. That too, through the eyes of Pitt’s character Jackie Cogan who is put up to a job to hunt down three individuals who manipulate the Mafia Poker game to steal the money.
Killing Them Softly Plot Summary
Killing Them Softly’s premise occurs during the American financial crisis and the presidential election campaign of 2008. It tells the story of Johnny “Squirrel” Amato, who joins hands with his associates Frankie and Ruselll to rob a Mafia Poker game. The only hurdle in their game is the crime regulator Jackie Cogan, who believes in a system running its way. So how do these cross paths? Squirrel plans to rob the game which Markie Trattman stole from himself. Yes, Trattman stole his own game before, and another shot at it means the fingers are pointed towards Trattman again.
So believing the theory mentioned above, Squirell devices the plan and even succeeds in accomplishing it. But a Mafia Leader named Driver doesn’t back down and hires Jackie Cogan, who will hunt the real culprits down. Cogan’s investigation quickly crosses the name of Trattman. But Cogan still takes Trattman down. Soon Rusell the addict accidentally slips the details of the heist to Kenny, whom he meets in Florida.
Kenny delivers the names to Jackie. But instead of going at them himself, Jackie hires another hitman Mickie. But when Mickie fails to stay on the mission, Jackie carries out the task himself and finishes the job. The movie ends with a negotiation between Jackie and Driver about the amount to be paid in with Barrack Obama’s winning speech playing in the back.
Killing Them Softly Ending Explained
So here are a few answers to some of the questions that Killing Them Softly might have raised towards the ending. Firstly, why Jackie decided to kill Mark Trattman anyway? “Squirrel” had used the same heist to blame it all on Trattman. But Jackie Cogan was smart enough to quickly figure out that Trattman had no connections with the theft at all. The reason he decided to take him out was to prove a point. To make sure no other robberies come around, taking inspiration from this. Plus, to establish the fact that you will get paid for what you do. Throughout the movie, Jackie, in a way, believes in this system.
Now, coming to killing the main culprits, as in Squirrel, Frankie, and Rusell. Jackie, amidst the movie, mentioned how he likes to kill his targets slowly. He likes to kill them from far away when they have no idea, they are about to die with no rushed feelings. Thus the title of the film. So, in the same way, he first hires someone else to figure out his target’s whereabouts, but Jackie opts to go all by himself when he fails.
First of all, the cop books Rusell in for drug possession. So he is out of the picture. Next comes Frankie, whom Rusell tracks down and blackmails him for Squirell’s location. This way, he may forgive him and let him live. Frankie helps Jackie and takes him to his apartment, and Jackie kills Squirell. He drives with Frankie again, who believes he is next. But throughout their meet, Jackie makes sure that Frankie believes what he says. He will let him go. But at the end of the day, he takes a shot at Frankie at the same time he thought he might have let him go. Yes, as Jackie said, he likes killing his targets softly.
Lastly, when Jackie gets back to Driver to get his payment. The conclusion of the movie hints at the situation of Americans during the 2008s. Barrack Obama won the presidential elections and promised the country as one community. But Jackie scoffs, stating America isn’t a country, and it is a business. In America, you are on your own, and he wants to be paid for what he wants. If you look back at the movie, you can see subtle hints like manipulation of the system, and now similarly Jackie’s boss reasoning to pay.