HBO Max’s star-studded No Sudden Move is set in 1950’s Detroit and follows a group of small-time criminals that are hired to steal a simple document. Or, at least, that’s what they are led to believe. As the plan goes awry, their search for who hired them takes them through all levels of the city.
The plot of the film is engaging, but this isn’t something you step away from. Screenwriter Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted) teams up with Soderbergh once again (the first in the murder mystery Mosaic). Solomon is able to tackle heavy issues while weaving in a history lesson that, let’s face it, was very prevalent in the 50s. He does so in a way that adds realism, making Soderbergh’s return to the crime thriller genre that much more intriguing. Soderbergh, to date, has made his living in being unpredictable and multifaceted, and No Sudden Move is no different.
While the plot centers around Don Cheadle’s Curt, the entire cast’s chemistry is something completely undeniable. Benicio del Toro’s Ronald Russo bantering back and forth with Kieran Culkin and Cheadle proves that he is the supporting character the film needs. Something particularly exciting about the A-list cast is the return of Brendan Fraser to large-scale cinema on the small screen. Fraser’s appearance is semi-brief, but what he does pull off in that time is impeccable. He’s a character that you’ll be screaming at your television to see more of!
Another ace is David Harbour. Harbour plays Matt Wertz, a normal guy with a wife (Amy Seimetz) and two kids, one played by Noah Jupe. Wertz just so happens to hold the key that the group needs. And he helps them get it. He’s a guy in way over his head, but Harbour taps into that erratic (albeit apologetic) behavior perfectly.
The aesthetics of No Sudden Move are beautiful. Using era-appropriate lenses to capture Detroit’s old homes and alleys with some equally great color grading, it’s a recipe for all that makes the film great. Filmed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, it no doubt posed challenges to the entire cast and crew. However, the group of criminals realizes that it’s all much more than just a document. The city is undergoing a period of transition that trickles from the top of the chain to the bottom. In a way, that’s exactly what we’ve seen within the last year.
Soderbergh finds a way to weave his signature style into the fun, engaging heist flick that is No Sudden Move. I came for the intriguing plot and stellar cast and stayed for Ray Liotta’s character Frank Capelli mistaking a catalytic converter for a Cadillac convertible.
No Sudden Move is available to stream now on HBO Max.