Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move is not a bad film. It’s well-directed, well cast, and contains interesting story content based on actual events. But despite its strengths, the film’s stiff dialogue, excessive twists, and overly convoluted plot make it akin to three-day-old pizza served on a silver platter.
Words and More Words
It’s clear after the first viewing of No Sudden Move that Ed Solomon’s script was incredibly self-aware. Some scenes make it more evident than others, and in those instances, eye-rolling is difficult to control. Those critiques have more to do with style and may work for others. The real problem with the script is the messy wordplay used to develop the plot. At times, the dialogue is so dense, and you tend to tune everything out because the words are just words. The messy dialogue often overshadows some really compelling performances, which leaves you disconnected and wanting.
Twist, Turn, Yawn
No Sudden Move features some good plot twists. After the fourth one, though, you expect the unexpected at all times, and things reach the bore zone. It’s no exaggeration to say that the film twists and turns up to the very last scene. It makes for a fun drinking game. Unfortunately, that’s the only fun thing about the maze of plot gimmicks that lead you to an utterly underwhelming resolution. On the positive, the film has one or two really effective plot twists, but that’s the problem with twists: They weaken with quantity.
What Just Happened?
The weakest element of No Sudden Move is its overall messy plot. Can a casual watcher understand the meat and potatoes of the story? Probably. But even the most seriously engaged film-goers may have to pause and rewind a few times. The good news is No Sudden Move is available to stream. The bad news? Many movie-goers won’t have the luxury of rewinding the projector in their local theater. That’s a shame because most people probably aren’t aware of the general story based on a fascinating bit of automotive history. Unfortunately, Steven Soderbergh’s execution of that story lacks clarity, and viewers are more likely to be confused than intrigued.