Neeson thinks he’s in Taken 4 while the movie is trying to be In Bruges.
Immediately after seeing the trailer for Widows, I had my concerns. Although the only performance I was worried about was Michelle Rodriguez. I figured she would play the same typecast role she has been doing for years. The rest of this star-studded cast, I believed, would be pretty solid. I was mostly worried about a predicable, stale plot, with an obvious ending. As time went on I started to become more optimistic learning that Gillian Flynn, who wrote Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, also wrote the screenplay for this. Knowing her M.O., I believed I would get a well thought out script, well developed characters, and a bit of a twist at the end. Expectations creeped up a bit.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know the source material. Had I known, I might have been able to brace myself for what was to come. Widows was adapted from a mini-series. I think it would have greatly benefited from staying in the mini-series space. There simply wasn’t enough time to devote to all the characters and plot points they tried to cram into this movie. Every performance (including Rodriguez) was on point, they just weren’t given enough to flesh out each character. I do not know how the mini-series ended, but I hope it was done better than this. Everything seemed rushed and a bit lazy when it came to plot.
All the components are there to make this a great movie: All-Star Cast, Oscar Winning Director, Award Winning Writer, and an interesting concept. It just couldn’t bring it all together. Widows isn’t a bad movie, it just did not live up to the potential. If I were speaking to Director Steve McQueen, I would simply quote the great John Creasy, “I wish… you had… more time”.
McQueen is an unquestionably skilled director who knows how to use his cast and cinematography to convey his message. In the case of Widows though, the abundance of messages never came together into a unified, compelling story which is what primarily keeps it from being great.