Among the most premature bets for the 2022 Academy Awards and Venice Golden Lion competition, Brendan James Fraser’s name, who plays Robotman in the HBO series Doom Patrol, has been constantly brought up as a potential candidate.
The star behind blockbusters such as The Mummy (1999-2008) and George Of The Jungle (1997) was cast as the lead in The Whale, the long-awaited new feature film from Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For a Dream; Black Swan). In it, Fraser plays a morbidly obese English teacher struggling to reconnect with his daughter. But there is another new film where he is at his best, which opens on HBO MAX on July 1st: No Sudden Move.
It’s Steven Soderbergh’s comeback since The Laundromat (2019) and Let Them All Talk (2020). Fraser is part of a stellar cast that includes Don Cheadle (director of Miles Ahead and War Machine in The Avengers franchise) as the main star.
“We went into this project in October 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, walking around a set with all the safety protocols against covid-19, properly immunized and tested. It all worked out because Steven works like a surgeon, choosing precisely what he needs to pull out the performances from his cast,” Fraser told C7nema in an Zoom interview.
Among critics, Fraser is unanimously excellent in No Sudden Move which screened last week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film goes back to 1954’s Detroit to talk about betrayals. “Detroit has suffered huge economic transformations. We are faced with a reality where the big auto companies collided leaving a balance of loss for the city and for America,” says Fraser, who caught the studios’ attention in the 90´s with his performance in the comedy Encino Man (1992).
Many pounds over the athletic figure he sported in the 1990s, Fraser enters No Sudden Move as one of the mephistophelic figures who drive ex-con Curtis (Cheadle) back into crime, involving him in a robbery alongside two other thieves, Ronald Russo (Benicio Del Toro) and Charley (Kieran Culkin).
The three wear white masks as a disguise in the theft of a document from the house of Matt Wertz (David Harbour from Strangers Things). But what was supposed to be an ordinary burglary turns into a trap, involving businessmen and high-level criminals. “It’s a moral fable about the search for redemption,” says Fraser, who has an expressive performance with few lines. “I like to do more with less“.