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Surrounded Review: Letitia Wright & Michael K. Williams Carry Western Thriller

from the moment The cinematic titan it was Michael K. Williams What comes to the screen is the consistently terrifying but frequently brilliant revisionist Western surrounded by, as if the whole world fades away for us to catch a final glimpse of His greatness. As with every layered performance in a life cut tragically short, he has a gravity that grabs you and won’t let go. Whether it’s the way her piercing eyes stare into your soul or the way her voice echoes in the dark of night, just watching Williams bring life to yet another character is mesmerizing. Although the story follows another figure, Letitia Wright As Moses ‘Mo’ Washington, he delivers the best of this unsettling meditation on violence wrapped in a terrifying thriller.

Five years after the end of the Civil War in 1870s America, we first meet Moe as he wanders through a community where the barbarism that defines the country is still evident in an extended tracking shot. An ex-buffalo soldier pretends to be a man, just head down and looking for safe passage west so he has the papers to make a life on the land. He finds it in an eclectic group who soon embark on a stagecoach and, after reluctantly giving up his gun, allow him to sit on the back with the luggage.

For anyone who has ever seen a Western, it is clear from the start that this journey will not be smooth sailing. Almost immediately, the racket wagon Moe was riding in was met by the infamous outlaw Tommy Walsh (Jamie Bell) and his group of men. A fight soon ensues, resulting in the first of many bodies that the film will get higher and higher. This will have Tommy watch over a giant tree near Moe until his colleagues return with a posse to collect his bounty. He must use his wits to survive almost entirely alone in a world where almost everyone is out to kill him.

‘Surrounded’ raves about Letitia Wright’s scheduled performance

Letitia Wright Moses 'Moe' around Washington.
Image via MGM

Drawing inspiration from both cinematic and American history, the film is at its best when it lets its cast take the reins, with real-life Buffalo Soldier Kathy Williams serving as a loose point for Mo. While Wright has always been best known for his work in the Expanded Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s the focused performance he gives in this film that really shows his ability to carry a story. Same as last year The Silent Twins, he plays a character of few words whose eyes speak volumes. wrote Andrew Pagana And Justin Thomas With Wright in mind, everything hinges on his every move moving forward.

When pitted against Bell, whose Tommy fluctuates between unbridled rage and sinister deception, Wright is the fulcrum of the entire experience. It’s hard to imagine the film working nearly as well as it did without putting him together. You believe every moment where Moe stares at death because of how Wright relentlessly captures the character’s determination to survive a hostile world. In some breathtaking overhead shots, the beautiful vastness of the landscape is almost breathtaking. managed by Anthony MandlerThe previous picture the monster Sticking with similar themes in a vastly different era, it makes the most of the space even with a few effects here and there that leave a lot to be desired.

Where things start to get a little shaky is how the narrative seems unwilling to sit with this sentiment. An early scene in which Moe tries to find the remains of a stagecoach that crashed leads to a confrontation with a group of natives that, while complex in the conclusion, feel like scrappy characters. The film brings an awareness of the genre’s tropes, particularly who is made central to such stories, but this is one instance where it falls head first into them. Even when it pulls itself away from them, the process by which it does so is often fraught – teetering on the edge of getting lost in action and intrigue as opposed to more earned thematic tension.

Michael K. Williams steals a final scene in ‘Surrounded’


That said, any reservations disappear when Williams enters the story. Although it’s a small role that’s painfully brief, she changes the course of the story on the strength of her presence alone. Discussing her character requires a great deal of gagging, but Williams makes her memorable. Not only does he provide a surprising injection of humor, there’s a menace to him that lurks within the lighthearted glee. His character climbs trees late at night, offering help and support that defeats many threats. While Moe wants one to believe and Williams brings a lot of charm to the role, there are moments where you see signs that he may not be who he says he is.

Unfortunately, the writing ends up being less nuanced than the performances and culminates in a clunky reveal that undercuts itself. Just as he often did throughout his career, Williams made the character more than what was on the page. In another world, we could watch a movie about him The scene is central to the story and, in many ways, the film would have benefited from sitting with it a lot longer than it did. Much of this stems from a desire to see Williams prolong her final film role as much as possible.

However, more patience would have served the growing excitement of the story and experience. The two characters discuss how to survive and get what they need is a dynamic. Alas, as out of this world as Williams remains, there would have been more for her to do in this role if she had been given the proper space to do it. He was and always will be an infinite talent who felt he was only just beginning to show what he could do.

While the film around him isn’t nearly as vibrant and can only hold a candle to the brilliance that shines through even in its brevity, there’s still plenty that proves gripping despite the many missteps along the way. Wright carries the film on his shoulders, pushing for a conventional conclusion where the pieces not only don’t come together, but don’t carry as much weight as the journey to get there. It invites more interesting reading, but it’s a basic survival thriller that can feel like it’s hitting you over the head with a rock as opposed to letting you linger moments in search of solace. Both Wright’s performance and the late Williams’ have a level of complexity that elevates the experience, creating powerful enough riffs on Westerns that could have been so much more.

Rating: b-
surrounded by Out today on VOD.



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