Mention Steven Soderbergh and the Ocean’s Eight, and its follow-up sequels would be brought to mind. Soderbergh has also made a number of serious art house style movies like Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Unsane and Good Night and Good Luck. He is usually able to assemble an impressive cast who are only too willing to work with the maestro.
In his latest movie, No Sudden Movie, Soderbergh has an impressive cast of “serious” actors with the likes of Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, John Ham, Brendan Fraser (looking very over weight) and an uncredited guest appearance by Matt Damon. The story takes place in 1950’s Detroit and revolves around some local gangster disputes. The film starts off interesting enough when gangster were recruited to force someone to retrieve documents from his company’s safe. However, things become more and more complicated cumulating in a convoluted final act involving double crossing and counter double crossing. All this usually works but under the direction of Soderbergh, the whole thing just feels slow and boring. By the time the ending is reached, I was not invested enough with the characters to care what happens to them.
This is shame given the amount of talent involved in this project and a director of respectable reputation. The gangster era of the times depicted in Detroit was not well defined and I felt no real connection with the characters and their behaviour. If anything their motivation towards the end is questionable, and give the impression of being just a plot device. Perhaps the most redeeming value I could find here is in the authentic look and feel of era with the sets, cars, and costumes. This seem to be the type of movies that movie critics would probably relish in but I suspect for the common folks, it is just one big snooze fest.