Film Reviews

Widows (2018)

Starring: Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall

Director: Steve McQueen

Three women are left widowed and in financial dire straits when their robber husbands are killed in a heist gone wrong. When a powerful crime king pin, who is also running for office, decides that they owe him the money that their husbands stole, they decide to pull off the big robbery that their husbands planned but didn’t complete. 

This film is adapted from a British series from the 1980’s of the same name, which I had neither seen nor heard of before. I thought the idea for this film sounded interesting. 

Sadly, the first crime this film commits is being quite long and dull. A thriller with no thrills. There are so many sub plot scenes with characters who are not developed and that are fairly arbitrary that the film is very slow. 

Secondly, the women in this film are really inept. They struggle to do anything. Firstly, none of them has a financial plan, which is pretty sexist writing when you think about it. One woman immediately turns to prostitution after her abusive husband dies, and then seems upset for most of the film that her “date” treats her like hired help. She gets mad when Viola Davis character slut shames her, which is so bizarre, because why would a woman do that? Women get hit a lot in this film and they also hit each other. They are all widows, and yet there is very little warmth or empathy between them. Women in the real world work very well in teams and generally are the organisers of their homes, their families lives, and yet here they are written to be dull and useless without their husbands. 

Speaking of husbands, little time is spent on them, except to set up that Liam Neeson’s character was very loving, so we should feel sad for his wife. But then, things about him are revealed at the end (which you will guess pretty much from the beginning) and this set up will then make no sense. 

What we do get a lot of is some political campaign and really awkwardly written scenes between characters that are fairly irrelevant and boring. Some guy is running for office but doesn’t want to, his assistant is objectified, a crook runs for office too, I mean… who cares? Where is the action? Where is the scenes of these women forming a team, casing the joint, bonding? Showing that they have their own inner strength? The heist is barely focused on and then is over in about two minutes, but you won’t care anyway, because there’s no tension built up anyway. All the characters are really one dimensional, most especially Daniel Kaluuya’s bad guy, who is always poorly lit, always seems to get his way and then is bumped off with the least fanfare or struggle of any film villain I’ve seen. 

It’s a film that feels like it was written by a committee, and while it could have been a fun ride, it never takes off but waffles and wavers to a conclusion that you’ll see coming a mile away. And, as my partner said after the film, for a film called Widows, there’s a whole lot of guys doing all the talking and taking up the screen time. I felt like the women in this film were useless and not given enough to do, and it drove me nuts. 

See It If: I don’t recommend this film. 

4 thoughts on “Widows (2018)”

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