Directed by Steve McQueen, based on a classic British television series written by Linda La Plante and starring Viola (or Vee-ola, as I love to call her – – Does she even need her last name anymore?) Davis, Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell, Widows tells the story of a botched robbery which results in the death of a crew whose widows have to figure out how to fend for themselves while hatching a plan to pay off their husbands’ outstanding underworld debt.
This review may contain spoilers, so be advised…
There is a lot to like about Widows. It has some great action and suspense, along with a couple of nice twists. The acting is fine from this rag-tag, multicultural group of strong women. The cast has enough chemistry to float it. The story is interesting enough I suppose. I wasn’t bored watching it. So what went wrong?
The first problem with the premise of Widows occurs quite early on.
Here’s how I live my life – – –
If someone comes to YOUR house to threaten YOU over money they feel YOUR husband cheated them out of, uuummm, Boo-Boo… that there is what would be considered, your problem. Period. No, I’m not interested in robbing anything with you. Robbing places is not my area of expertise and I have no desire to die in a blaze of gunfire, kill anyone else or spend the rest of my life in jail. Good luck with all of that. When someone comes knocking on MY door, then we can talk. Until then, Deuces!
But maybe that’s just me. These women were not friends before their husbands died. They were complete strangers. For this reason, from that point on, the movie struck me as preposterous. Had the threat been made imminent to all of the women, so they all had some skin in the game, it would have made much more sense and brought a heightened sense of danger and urgency into the situation = a better movie.
Also, the good moments were overtaken by the integration of nearly every social issue and human condition ever known to mankind being crammed into this one little movie, including but not limited to, interracial love, economic instability and the threat of homelessness, grief, struggling-working-single mothers, corruption in politics, corruption in business, criminality in general, sexism, absent fathers and otherwise generally sorry men, feminism, the older generation vs. the younger generation, gun control, the balance of power between men and women, liberalism vs. conservatism, white privilege, and so on and so on and so on. I am for equal rights for all, and if that makes me a liberal or whatever people want to call it, then so be it; but even for me, Widows became “preachy,” condescending and boring (because of the preachiness). The espousing of liberal ideology felt extremely forced, out of place and did nothing to elevate the quality of the film; in fact, it did the opposite. There is a time and a place for everything, and this was neither.
All I know is I was supposed to be involved in what could have been one of the best all female heist movies ever and all of this political speak thrown into the mix ruined my good time. It was an unnecessary distraction. . Specifically the office conversation between Colin Farrell’s character and Robert Duval, who plays his father. Make up your mind about the movie you want to make because the heist story line was alright (with the mutual threat included, of course), but the political plot line went left (pun intended) and I just wasn’t in the mood to go that way just then. That’s just not what I showed up for.
And the slapping was just downright ridiculous. Who goes around slapping grown women as if they are children without the expectation of getting slapped right back?! Nobody I know.
Oh well. At any rate, Widows earned 5.5 out of 10 bloops. I wouldn’t say it’s not worth the price of admission, but it could have been much more enjoyable had it kept its focus, not gotten preachy, and fixed that gaping plot hole. An honorable mention to Elizabeth Debicki for bringing all of her towering, 6 foot 3-ness into the mix, Daniel Kaluuya is downright frightening and quite possible the best part of this entire affair, and the beauty, athleticism and fitness of Cynthia Erivo is admirable. They were all a pleasure to watch.
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1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
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