Column: “No Sudden Move” review


Courtesy of IMDb

Zack Goodrow, Editor-in-Chief

“No Sudden Move” is like “Mad Men” meets the opening scene of “The Dark Knight.” The cast consisting of Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, Jon Hamm, Matt Damon and Ray Liotta brings late 1940’s Detroit back to life in this crime drama. 

The movie is simplistic yet immersive as a criminal thriller. “No Sudden Move” is a perfect two hour movie that enthralls its audience and leaves them asking no questions. 

I’m a sucker for most crime based and mafia movies. “No Sudden Move,” takes this typical–and honestly overused movie genre–and flips it on its head by the presence of so many stars, type of protagonists and the old-school Detroit setting. 

The protagonists, Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle) and Ronald Russo (Benicio del Toro), are two crooks who take on a simple burglary job. The duo soon realize that they were meant to be killed after the job was complete so that there were no loose ends after forcing Matt Wertz (David Harbour) to steal a file from his boss’s safe.

While the plot of the film is simple, the movie comes alive with its Detroit setting and consistent plot twists. It was an excellent movie to watch as I continued to figure out who was going to be double-crossed, shot or who was truly behind seeking the plans Curt and Ronald possessed. 

It was great to see a movie from an underdog and villainous perspective. The duo of Cheadle and del Toro reminded me of some of “The Sopranos” characters that weren’t in the mafia life. If Tony or Christopher hired outside of the mob for a whack or for a robbery, these hitmen would be offed soon after the job was done to close the ties back to the mafia. “No Sudden Move,” does an excellent job of making the audience root for two troubled characters that have no business navigating through the upper-ranks of the crime life. 

The aspect of maneuvering through a crime circle is intensified by the setting and music of the film. The music was appropriate for the time. The jazz themes mixed with classic thriller movie scores improved the immersion and depth of old-school Detroit. 

By the end of the film, it’s revealed that the plans were a prototype for a catalytic converter–something that is used in every car today and controls the toxic gases cars dispel and produces it into something more environmentally friendly. Executives from every major car manufacturing company were fighting for the plans and for control of the market. 

Curt and Ronald meet with Mr. Big (Matt Damon), who explains to them why they needed Matt to steal the plans for him. It’s incredibly symbolic that from the shadows, Damon’s character has been pulling the strings, and Damon himself is uncredited in the movie for his role.  

At the end of the film, detective Joe Finnely (Jon Hamm) was working for Mr. Big the entire time. Especially in a Detroit setting, the film did an amazing job outlining race relationships in the city. Even in a crime setting, the two main characters as minorities are being manipulated by a white crooked cop and a whie business executive. 

This tense and sometimes humorous movie brings all the characters together for an extremely satisfying climax. Like “Usual Suspects,” every character’s motives are revealed and the ending leaves no questions. This made “No Sudden Move” one of my favorite films of 2021 and Mr. Big’s quote at the end of the movie summarizes it perfectly. 

“You know what I love? When characters you’ve long since forgotten in this great novel called life show up at the end and the whole story gets filled right in.”