MOVIE REVIEW: “No Sudden Move” stars Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2, Crash), Benicio Del Toro (Sicario, The Usual Suspects), David Harbour (Black Widow, Suicide Squad), Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Inkheart), Jon Hamm (Baby Driver, Tag), Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Cider House Rules), Julia Fox (Uncut Gems, Puppet), Ray Liotta (Goodfellas, Marriage Story ), Amy Seimetz (Upstream Fire, Pet Sematary ), Noah Jupe (Honey Boy, A Quiet Place), Craig muMs Grant (Dark Water, Side Effects), Frankie Shaw (Stronger, SMILF [TV series]), Lucy Holt, and Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Bourne Identity). It is directed by Steven Soderbergh (Contagion, The Limey) and written by Ed Solomon (Men in Black, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure).
Two criminals are sent down a dangerous path when their simple babysitting task goes awry.
For once, our wifi was strong enough to stream a movie. And the one I chose? “No Sudden Move,” a Soderbergh flick that released over the summer on HBO Max. What a peculiar way to spend a Friday night…
I’m all for investigative/crime capers as much as the next guy. The interweaving of mysteries, characters, and action make for great entertainment. “No Sudden Move” has all of these elements, but man does it like douping the audience (and characters). So much so that I found myself quite confused by it. Just how many times do you have characters “pull a fast one” on us until enough is enough?
Soderbergh is a director I am not that knowledgable of. Really, the only other film I’ve seen him direct is “The Limey,” which I doubt most people have even heard of. I thought it was really good, though found the editing to be extremely abstract. It was wild, and quite experimental. Such is the case with “No Sudden Move,” but more so with shooting style. In the opening title sequence, we see Don Cheadle walking the streets on what appears to be a wide fish-eye lens. The edges of the frame have a stark curve to them, making for a huge distraction. This carried on into the movie quite a bit, taking up dialogue scenes that made me feel uncomfortable. Why use this lens? I don’t know. Sometimes it would even have a vignette around it, as if it were so wide that we could see the barrel of the lens itself. It’s a ruggid style of filmmaking, one I’m sure Soderbergh is privy to.
This all goes to show how different “No Sudden Move” is. It’s a typical crime feature executed in a way contrary to the genre, and for the most part I found it interesting. The performances in this are solid, with a great turn-in by Mr. Cheadle and a rather unusual character portrayed by Del Toro (though what else is new?). They have humorous chemistry, and the supporting cast that fills the frame are some of the big names in Hollywood. Seeing everyone interact in this period piece was fun, and once the job our lead characters ennact goes sideways, things hit the ground running.
As the plot unfolds, so does the double-crossing… which happens a lot. It became a bit comical, more like a running gag. Yet, I’m not sure if the filmmakers intended it to be that way. There’s plenty to be entertained by in this movie, with a long enough story thread and variety of character arcs to keep you engaged. My favorite parts consisted of the initial enactment of the crime plot, David Harbour’s character, and the Matt Damon cameo. It’s all little, fun nuggets that make for a good time, but unfortunately the whole piece doesn’t seem to go above and beyond. There aren’t many characters I grew close to or really care for, and the convoluted trickery that takes place doesn’t help much either.
“No Sudden Move” has some good elements up its sleeve, and at the very least makes for an entertaining watch. Cheadle and Del Toro shine as a duo, and I enjoyed seeing there journey, even if the steps got confusing from time to time. It’s not a memorable feature by any means (the execution leaves more to be desired), but it does enough to warrant a decent grade. FINAL SCORE: 72%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: