No Sudden Move, Steven Soderbergh's latest, is a retro noir crime filmthat is too caught up in experimenting with its convoluted plot and forgets to build character or intrigue. It plays like an office presentation where the presenter has gotten caught up with his mini-models and forgets the bigger picture. The film burns through the charm of its talented cast and towards the end, reduces itself to tedious logistical play-by-play.
The cinematography, also personally shot by Steven Soderbergh, makes an odd choice by placing a fish-eye lens in the film's establishing shots. Like a funhouse mirror, actors on the edge of the frame will distractingly morph in shape as they hit their mark at the center. What was the motivator behind this aesthetic choice? It's perplexing.
With its magnificent cast including Don Cheadle, Benecio Del Toro, David Harbour, Brendan Fraser, and even child actor Noah Jupe from A Quiet Place are all wasted. The actors all work hard chewing such minimal scenery provided by the script. It's hard to build a character when you're instructed to be a knob in a Rube-Goldberg machine.
I don't know who I was supposed to root for. And at the end, when it was revealed who won, I proceeded to have the hiccups because I didn't care what happened next long ago. Soderbergh takes you through the skeleton of a crime noir plot told in such a moodless fashion, I never knew how to feel throughout this entire film. And I don't know how a noir film can have no atmosphere.
Save your time on this one.