No Sudden Move Review: A little collusion confusion never killed anybody

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Jackson Piercy
CONTRIBUTOR

Ronnie (Benicio Del Toro) and Curt (Don Cheadle) waiting with anticipation. Photo from imdb.com.

Steven Soderbergh is probably my favorite director right now, so I’d be remiss not to mention my bias towards his style. RegardlessI would like to make the claim that he’s pretty under the radar when it comes to directors today. He’s no Tarantino, Russo or even a Chloe Zhao. I won’t even make the claim that he’s the best director working right now, because we could be talking about semantics this and exposition until the cows come home. He’s just my favorite. Why? I’d say it’s more of a stylistic preference than anything. Ever since his takes on the “Ocean’s” pictures in the early 00’s and “Logan Lucky” more recently, he’s just been a guy who’s grown on me. This picture is no different.

Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle,) a recently released ex-con in late ‘50s Detroit is hired for a seemingly simple job by Doung Jones (Brendan Fraser): “babysit” a family for three hours with two other compatriots, Ronald Russo (Benicio Del Toro) and Charley (Kieran Culkin) while the patriarch, Matt Wertz (David Harbour) goes to collect some files from his boss’s safe for a particular auto manufacturer. The job goes sideways (as these sorts of things usually do,) and Curt and Ronnie try to outwit the local bosses Frank Capelli (Ray Liotta) and Aldrick Watkins (Bill Duke) and the Detroit Police’s Organized Crimes Unit, led by corrupt cop Joe Finney (Jon Hamm.) Nothing in the film is ever as it seems. Nobody is to be trusted. There’s so much backstabbing going on, that it looks like one of those axe throwing places when any of the main characters turn their back to the camera.

First off, I’d like to state how nice it is to see Brendan Fraser on screen again, even if fleeting. In that same vein, this cast is impeccable, as is the case with most of Soderbergh’s pictures. Not exactly A-listers, but this is a roster that is more deep than top-heavy, which is the way I’d rather build a cast rather than one big name and a bunch of nobodies. This is a film that is oozing with style, not just because of the ‘50s setting, but in a cinematic and character-driven sense. The cinematography and editing is cool in the way Humphrey Bogart is cool—not so in-your-face, but you will be rewarded for paying attention. The characters are noir-like, but they are each a bit bumbling (except for Cheadle, maybe) so everybody is still grounded in their own unique way.

At some points, this film has a habit of punishing the audience for not paying attention fairly closely at times, but I can’t say in good conscience that this movie is too smart for its own good. That being said, the attentive among you will appreciate the intricate spider web that the characters weave, and how that same web falls apart in the end. There are most certainly winners and losers in this movie, but the difference between who’s on top fifteen minutes from the end and the real end is, to say the least, shocking. No, I wouldn’t call that a spoiler, just watch the movie and see for yourself!

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