Steven Soderbergh is back with No Sudden Move, a new gangster movie, one of his favorite genres! He also brings together two of his favorite actors: Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle.
What is it about ?
Detroit, mid-1950s. Criminals from all walks of life come together and must work together to find out why they have been left out.
No Sudden Move, a film by Steven Soderbergh, written by Ed Solomon with Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbor, Brendan Fraser, Amy Seimetz… On MyCANAL.
Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle), a criminal who has just been released from prison, needs money and gets an apparently easy job. All he has to do is hold a family hostage in their house for three hours. After that, he can pocket $ 5,000. It is 1954 in Detroit and this proposal looks like blessed bread.
Except that No Sudden Move is a film noir – one of Steven Soderbergh’s favorite genres – and nothing will turn out as planned. For this mission, brought to a set by a transfigured Brendan Fraser for the role, Curt must team up with Ronald Russo (Benicio Del Toro) and Charley (Kieran Culkin). Real gangsters or nickel feet?
In this film with impeccable aesthetics – faithful to Soderberghian standards – Soderbergh shows us around Detroit like Polanski with Chinatown. We go from shady quarters of the city to majestic meeting rooms, with a detour through police stations corrupt to the core.
If the cast displayed is frankly impressive – in addition to those mentioned, we meet David Harbor, Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm or Matt Damon – No Sudden Move does not have the same aura of “all star game” that Ocean’s Eleven could deliver . This is due to a choice of austerity in the staging that contrasts with the flashy side of Ocean’s.
We also surprise Soderbergh eyeing Melville’s side by anchoring his film on the side of the black melodramas typical of the 1950s, with tilted camera angles and distorting lenses. He even sometimes flirts with the pulp.
But at the same time, Ed Solomon and Steven Soderbergh clearly show their ambition to “elevate” the genre by injecting issues linked to racism and capitalism. But their treatment remains too superficial to provide a real point of view on these questions.
The real good surprise is actually on the side of the female characters, much more interesting and developed than in films of the genre in the 50s. Amy Seimetz is perfect as a mother, taken hostage, but who manages to compose a posture facing these gangsters.
The film is not devoid of humor either. Shot in 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the film presents its gangsters decked out in somewhat ridiculous white masks that hide the top of their faces. An ironic nod to the news.