No Sudden Move | Third Space
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No Sudden Move

What is the difference between a catalytic converter and a Cadillac convertible?

No Sudden Move

Tue 28 Sep 2021
What is the difference between a catalytic converter and a Cadillac convertible?
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4 out 5 stars

One thing that is easy to admire about Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11, Erin Brockovich) is his ability to innovate. His illustrious career has been sprinkled with varied genres, production mediums and filming techniques as he manages to redefine himself over and over again. Yet, one element of his career that he works to capitalise on is his love of the ensemble casting of some of cinema's best talent.

As he dips his toe in the historical film noir, the celebrated filmmaker introduces audiences to Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle). He was recently released from prison and wants to get enough money together to start a new life in Kansas City. This makes him willing to take any job that comes his way. Even if it gets him in the cross hairs of some of his enemies. So when he is given a seemingly easy task of keeping a family hostage while the husband retrieves a document at his workplace, it all seems to be quite suspect. Still, the money is good and it is only meant to take a few hours to complete. As he partners with Ronald Russo (Benicio del Toro) and the team's mouthpiece, Charley (Kieran Culkin), the trio moves ahead with the job. Only holding the family of the General Motors accountant Matt Wertz (David Harbour) hostage proves to be more involved than anyone initially thought.

Within the first few minutes of the film, it is evident that this will unfold into a multi-layered narrative that goes beyond the simplicity of acquiring a simple document. As Soderbergh slowly peels back the layers of this story of industrial espionage and organised crime, we get drawn into this intricate web that leads to unexpected revelations by the end. What differentiates this project from others within the director’s filmography is the subtlety of each of the story's elements. Fans may expect the humour or satisfying conclusion of Ocean's 11. Yet, this cinematic craftsman manages to offer something new and intriguing with this vicious look at the automotive world.

Cheadle and del Toro carry the weight of this twisted tale with a professional finesse that is both captivating and understated. Even though they are joined by an amazing cast that includes Jon Hamm, Brendan Fraser, Noah Jupe, Ray Liotta and Bill Duke, the whole story rides on the shoulders of the central duo. They seem to relish this in every scene as they work their way through the screenplay that keeps the audience guessing until the end. The viewers will strain to figure out what will happen next in this fumbling pair's attempt to stay ahead of the FBI, the mob and leaders of the automotive industry in Detroit.

For those who have followed the career of the director and cast, go into this film with limited expectations and allow it to take you on an unanticipated ride. Each character and twist has a purpose, even though it may be unclear upon introduction. No Sudden Move proves that filmmaking can still offer something surprising to audiences. All the while teaching us a bit of history that seems quite benign while eventually revealing something worth killing to acquire. This slow-burn drama is one worth discovering and pondering for days afterward.

REEL DIALOGUE: Where does the love of money get you?

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Matthew 6:24

Most people do not know that Jesus had quite a bit to say about money and not just how they should give to the church. His words dealt more with mankind's priorities, and specifically, money cannot be the primary focus of our lives.

Not to be misunderstood, Jesus did not state that money is evil or that he was not anti-money. His teachings went to how it ranked in our lives over other things, specifically to God. The words in the above passage could be asked as a question: Who is your God? No one may say it is money, but if it takes precedence over all other things in your life, it has become your god.

In No Sudden Move, this idea manifests itself in the lives of Curt Goynes and Ronald Russo, proving that money cannot repurchase your life. The film shows the painful lesson that pursuing a quick buck, mainly illegal, shows that those involved are not the masters of their domain. Money is the master. It could even be said that the gangster duo was not focussed on the right priorities in life. Which helps to prove that absolute freedom and satisfaction can only be found in God. Money is a vicious master, while the God of the Bible is a gracious and loving one.

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