Soderbergh’s 1950s noir thriller is gorgeous
No Sudden Move is a tense-paced noir thriller, prepared with an endless carousel of twists and turns and betrayals that culminate in a satisfying ending.
Steven Soderbergh possesses the unique ability to straddle both traditional and quirky avenues, an ability best reflected in his 1998 detective comedy. Out of sight. The amalgamation of genres in Soderbergh’s films such as High-flying bird and Circulation come in the form of tense and transparent cinematic experiences – a legacy that is maintained in its latest offering, No sudden movement. Located in 1954 in Detroit, No sudden movement follows two-bit criminal Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle), who lands a seemingly easy salary that involves working with the always unpredictable Ronald Russo (Benicio del Toro) and the informal sleazy Charley (Kieran Culkin). No sudden movement is a tense-paced noir thriller prepared with an endless carousel of twists and turns and betrayals that culminate in a satisfying ending.
An aura of distrust permeates No sudden movement from his first minute, as seen in the way Goynes and Russo are skeptical of secret middleman Jones (Brendan Fraser), who asks them to simply hold a family at gunpoint for three hours. Aside from the eerily straightforward nature of the job, Goynes and Russo fear the involvement of Mafia boss Frank Capelli (Ray Liotta) and Aldrick Watkins (Bill Duke), two people they’re on incredibly thin ice with. As the work unfolds, some surprising developments occur, including the existence of a document concealed by the largest automakers in Detroit and the involvement of several powerful men in a web of interconnected and often contradictory. Over time, the whole operation grows larger than it originally appeared, taking place in the style of “It’s a setup!” As Cheadle’s character exclaimed.
In addition to diving deep into the belly of old-fashioned organized crime, No sudden movement attempts to address issues of racial tension and ever-growing capitalist propaganda, although these themes emerge as mere postings as opposed to sincere integration. The narrative is extravagant and flowing through and through, with shots of elegantly dressed men in vintage Hudsons and fedoras plotting their way to the next betrayal or double cross. Needless to say, the work undertaken by Goynes, Russo and Charley goes incredibly awry, with a tasteless Matt (David Harbor) doing his best to navigate the new flow of events while making weak attempts to protect his wife and their children.
Additionally, the characters of Capelli and Watkins dominate the operation like a massive shadow, exemplifying the immense criminal powers that control the lives of those who dare to go too far. Soderbergh emphasizes the theme of going a little too heavy throughout the film, especially through the figure of Goynes, who is renowned as someone who “don’t know when to stop. âEach character involved receives their due in unexpected and often cruel ways, in which strands of different characters are unraveled and tied together in a confusing turn of events, which is thrilling to watch. While some audiences might find the plot too much long and too complicated for its own good, Soderbergh manages to keep viewers intrigued enough to propel them to a satisfying ending with all dots connected.
Another reason why No sudden movement works well as a fast-paced hardboiled thriller is the seamless way the great cast of the set works together. Cheadle and Del Toro clearly stand out in their respective roles, although some characters such as Jon Hamm’s Detective Joe and Matt Damon’s Mike Lowen come across as dark horses in terms of plot ingenuity. Needless to say, the other actors play their respective roles quite well, including the fiery and unpredictable Vanessa Capelli of Julia Fox. Every beat, moment and occurrence in No sudden movement seems to be punctuated with sparkle and absurdity, the end result being a dizzying maze of false starts and endless dead ends.
NEXT: No Sudden Move Trailer: Don Cheadle Leading Director’s New Heist Ocean’s 11
No sudden movement premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and hit US theaters on July 1. It’s also currently available to stream on HBO Max. The film lasts 115 minutes and is rated R for language, some violence and sexual references.
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