Viola Davis Has The Balls to Pull Off this ‘Widows’ Trailer

Steve McQueen assembles a crew of serious badasses for his new heist thriller.
By  · Published on June 4th, 2018

Steve McQueen assembles a crew of serious badasses for his new heist thriller.

Here we go. Shots fired. Steve McQueen shows us that he’s not just another prestige filmmaker. The first trailer for Widows reveals a blood-pumping, character-driven crime thriller in the vein of Michael Mann.

Heat’s lessons on attachment are about to fall hard on a gang of thugs. The regular type life of barbecues and ballgames comes at a price, and your family will pay for that comfort. We’ve been deprived of this level of cops and robbers melodrama for too long. I didn’t realize it until this trailer dropped.

Four women, connected by the criminal enterprise perpetrated by their dead husbands, are forced to carry on the diabolical deeds to fend off the bottom-feeders looking to collect on their debt. Viola Davis, Michele Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo don’t have time to mourn the loss. They have to set it off before Daniel Kaluuya and Colin Farrell shut it down. Heat had L.A. Widows has Chicago.

I may have been curious before, but now I am downright stoked to see what McQueen has in store for us with Widows. Besides the amazing roster of talent already listed above, we catch glimpses of Liam Neeson, Jon Bernthal, Robert Duvall, Jackie Weaver, Brian Tyree Henry, Carrie Coon, and Kevin J. O’Connor. Yes, that’s an ensemble Mann would have killed to have acquired.

This is the third time Widows will reach an audience. The story first appeared as a two-season BBC series in 1983 and 1985. Then in 2002, the plot was retooled for actresses Mercedes Ruhl, Brooke Shields, and Rosie Perez. Both iterations were well received but failed to capture much enthusiasm.

However, this trailer is an announcement of a stylist. From the Junior Boys remix of Billie Holiday’s “Yesterdays” to Gillian Flynn’s savage stabs of dialogue, McQueen is plunging himself into genre. The noir may have something on its mind, but this is not the entertainment I was expecting from the brain that brought us Hunger and 12 Years a Slave. Moving into a new realm of cinema, McQueen is making a play as one of our great directors. He can do it all.

Viola Davis dominates here as well. We first see her with love in her eyes. All smiles for Neeson. Then comes the explosion, the fire. Her world topples around her and she has to reclaim the life she once left in the hands of others. The world underestimates her abilities and the world will suffer. She has the balls to pull it off. Just look at her storm across the screen with a sack of money over her shoulder and kill-stare blazing on her face. Supreme badass walking.

Davis has been building to this character for her entire career. She’s played a variety of hardcases along the line. There was Detective Parker in Disturbia, Director George in Knight and Day, Major Gwen Anderson in Ender’s Game, Agent Barrett in Blackhat, and of course, Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad. Here, though, Davis gets to lead her crew into battle and terrorize those foolish enough to get in her way. This is her movie. About damn time.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)