Another Friday night, another chance to review movies. Tonight we move away from the fantasy and drop into a more realistic film that hopes to be a dive into a more realistic setting for us to enjoy. With a major cast to lead the way, tonight’s movie from the trailers seemed to suggest an exciting crime drama, that would hopefully bring some edge to this weekend. Yet what lies in store behind the trailer? That’s where yours truly comes in to give you the information on the latest movie to hit the silver screen. Let’s get started as Robbie K reviews:
Movie: Widows (2018)
Gillian Flynn (screenplay by), Steve McQueen(screenplay by)
Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki
Acting: Right out of the gate we need to highlight how epic the acting is in this smorgasbord of actors and actresses. Davis is the biggest one highlighted, once more proving herself as a queen of the crime/drama franchise. Her tone, her poise, her deadly look are all perfect for this emotionally intense role of the character facing both internal and external demons that torture her. With Rodriguez, she’s a watered-down version of Letty from the Fast And The Furious, aggressive, sullen, and assertive to the point of being monotone. As for Debicki, stunningly beautiful, fashionable of the bunch, and a wonderful moral compass that the group sort of need in their quest for moving on. Other characters play their parts well as the secondary characters, each adding that dab of crime noir magic that leads to the political story at hand.
Realism: I can appreciate a good realistic movie when it goes to crafting a story in this genre. Widows forgoes the fantasy and fiction, to instead bring about realistic issues that are hot areas of interest in the political world. Integrating these issues into the girls backstories and further layering the story with other social struggles, will make a setting that those in love with crime dramas soak up. As such, Widows is all about bringing that relevance to the audience, hoping to lure the audience in and help develop the relationships of this character centric story. Be ready for that component to be the driving line of the movie, because it is a strong, strong factor.
The Style: primarily in Elizabeth’s character, the clothes are certainly stylish with our cast of future crime committers. While not quite matching the style of the Ocean’s 8 squad, the widows have their fair share of clothing to dazzle and delight the audience, or at least make you envy the world of high money.
The Twists: The story is very character heav as mentioned before, and with it comes the ability to bring some interesting surprises at hand. Widows has a few very good twists that are time superbly and open the gates for more drama to make the soap operas have a run for their money. Not the most mind-blowing mind you, but an applause at the surprises in store for this film.
The Dog: A cute little puppy graces much of the film, and its adorable face serves to relieve the darker tones established in this movie. Widows cute little mascot was my favorite character, and while there is little else this animal serves for, I still like to mention the little pet.
Character Skewing: The movie was supposed to be about the girls all being involved in this plan to pay off their debt and hopefully change their lives. Viola Davis character is again the central character, getting such wonderful looks into her life and by far having the most detail in her life. Sadly, that’s where things start to go awry for me. The rest of the characters stories are surprisingly linear, shallow tales that we only get a peek into often in very dry dialogue. Other characters are caught up in political shout outs, not really impressive in that display outside of trying to get a house of cards flow going.
The Lack Of Action: If you saw the trailers, you might have been hoping for a little stimulation in this movie as most crime movie have. Well, the synopsis didn’t lie, it certainly is not the usual rime story in this film. Widows decides to deviate from the usual plot, plan, and execute said plan for that drama/romance aspect. If you wanted a break, and the focus on such aspects than this is the film for you. Yet, if you saw the trailer like I did and wanted a little more traditional suspense into the film, that is where the movie failed for me. Without those moments of planning and showing the aim of the mission overall, this movie sort of aimlessly bumbled around feeling stuck in an ever-ongoing game of relationship pong.
The Pace: The result of this focus on romance/relationships leads to a much slower movie, that drags on and on. Without more exciting moments to break open the convoluted, character thick plot, I had to fight some sleep against the molasses movement, and hope that there were enough twists to keep me guessing. Sadly, Widows didn’t have quite enough excitement to knock the excitement into me, though I did manage to stay awake for it.
The Rushed Plot: While I said the move rocks on focusing on characters, it does not mean that it was the best story to grace the silver screen. Widows story threw so many hints for a number of the characters, making a point to painstakingly show off each woman’s response to the funeral and tease at some potential deep stories. Instead, much of the details are skimped around, leaving only hints and small revelations that don’t work quite well. In addition, many of these plot points are kind of randomly dropped in, almost as if they were a second thought that had to be hastily integrated into the film. Most of these really didn’t add much to the film, again requiring more details and build up to really mean something.
Too Many Things: The movie I think tried to do too much with its direction, trying to figure out which aspect it wanted to highlight over others. Political wise, the movie definitely sails to new horizons to bring with it some valuable food for thought that future generations can discuss. However, in terms of entertainment, romance, and crime I feel the movie couldn’t accomplish this. Much of this has to do with too many characters and subplots rolling around the screen and trying to keep each one in check. Corrupt politicians, a heated race for some position, more deals, etc. there are so many micro tales going it is not very easy or entertaining to watch. As such, this confusing storm of plots leads you wanting a little better completion, and more so, better editing to cut through the chaotic string jungle this plot stays on.
Overall, Widows gets props for the realistic, originality it holds in regards to this category. A wonderful crew was cast for this, but I don’t think that everyone was used equally and to their full potential. The movie has a lot of plots to choose to follow, but much of their filling is very thin, skimpy on details that needed much more refining to help deliver all it wanted. Throw in that some action and suspense needed to be integrated and you could have had a much better movie overall. As such, the movie is not for most audience members, and I implore the people to wait for this one instead of flocking to the theater.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0