Widows (2018)

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RATING: 3.5/5

SPOILERS

Directed by Steve McQueen, the film is about three women who have recently lost their husbands due to a failed heist. It is up to those three women to pick up the pieces and finish the job their husbands started in the first place.

Keep in mind, I’m looking at this movie as a movie. For I didn’t know that this was based on a show from the 80s.

First thing that I want to say is that I do really like the opening. It shows the last heist that the husbands were doing. It is pretty tense especially in one instance where the scene does a perspective shot within the van. During this chase scene, we get to see the normal lives that they had with their wives. This was nicely done at establishing who these characters are and the lives they were living prior.

The film does a good job of viewing into each widow’s life and their way of coping with a recent loss. One of them is being offered a job as a prostitute to gain extra money and another is struggling to take care of her children. This was good at seeing what exactly the women are having trouble with and this gives a legitimate reason for why they need to finish their husbands’ former job.

The film’s setting also adds pretty well to the story. It takes place in a suburban atmosphere where there is quite a bit of corruption and violence. Once again, this gives the audience a good reason for why these widows are doing what they are doing.

Everyone in this movie gives off great performances, especially for Viola Davis. Some of the funny moments of the film are when the three widows are trying to do spy work, but clearly, this is their first time doing this sort of activity. There is one scene where the three are breaking into a safe and they accidentally have the code upside down. One of the characters played by Elizabeth Debicki is wondering where to buy guns and Viola Davis replies by saying it’s not hard, it’s America.

One character that was entertaining to watch was the brother of one of the main bad guys, he was played by Daniel Kaluuya. He played the typical right-hand man for any crime boss, but he was still pretty cool. Seeing him and his gang beat up white people made me think of the movie “Get Out.” It’s almost as if his character from that movie is striking back at them for all the crap he went through in this movie. I don’t know I chuckled when those scenes popped up.

In terms of cinematography, there was one scene that stood out to me. Which was when one of the politicians played by Colin Farrell is being driven to his house. The scene doesn’t cut to him in the car having an argument with his assistant, instead, the camera stays up on the hood of the car. It stays aimed at the right side of the car until it reaches the house, it switches to the left side.

The dialogue in the film I thought was great. Going back to doing spy work for the first time, I think the film showed off a pretty real conversation on how the three were going to do this one particular dangerous job. From A to B, the film showed the challenges that these three characters had to go through to get the job done right. But yes the rest of the dialogue I enjoyed. This together with really good performances adds to the funny, entertaining, and serious parts of the film.

Now the negatives. I guess the big thing that I could think of was there was no sense of real teamwork or comradery. There wasn’t a lot of scenes where the three widows joined together. Most of the film focuses on the many subplots that these women are involved in. Which is not bad necessarily, but when it gets to the main final heist, I didn’t feel any joy or didn’t feel like this group accomplished something big. I don’t know I felt there needed to be more “team” development.

Some of the subplots in the film I felt were unnecessary. Especially in the second act because a majority of it seemed rather slow and it tends to drag a bit. One of the subplots I felt was unnecessary was the surprise twist involving of the husbands, played by Liam Neeson. It’s revealed in the movie that he didn’t die from his last botched heist. It was generally a good twist when watching it, but upon thinking it over, it served no purpose. The film would have been better if he would have stayed dead instead of making love with the “fourth widow.”

The fourth widow was pretty pointless as well. She didn’t contribute virtually anything to the story, which is a shame because this movie should focus on her just as much as the other three. If this movie is not going to bother with giving screen time to this one widow, then why have her in here at all. There was potential here, but it was sadly wasted.

There is Elizabeth Debicki’s plot with her boyfriend but that was kind of uninteresting. There is a very weird scene involving Michelle Rodriguez’s character, in which she wants to get information from a certain businessman. The two talk for a bit and realize they recently lose someone precious to them recently. Then out of the left field, the two kiss. At first, I thought she was playing the spy persona, but no the whole scene is played straight and it left me scratching my head to say, what’s just happened.

All in all, Widows is a pretty good heist film that is definitely worth checking out. It’s not like Ocean’s 8 where it’s lighthearted and goofy. This is more real and that makes it more entertaining in my eyes. This is a movie that has enough solid dialogue, really good acting, and good actors to keep one glued to the screen.