At the turn of the century, Steven Soderbergh was Hollywood’s golden boy, becoming the first director since Michael Curtiz in 1938 to be double nominated for Best Director in the same year for “Traffic” and “Erin Brockovich,” winning for the former. And, for years afterward, even such unusual Soderbergh offerings as “Side Effects” were thrilling.
Recently, however, as he has gravitated to television, he seems to have lost his bearings, and while the murder mystery “Mosaic” was watchable, “Full Circle” is not.
The great cast includes Zazie Beetz, Claire Danes, Timothy Oliphant, Dennis Quaid, and CCH Pounder, but Ed Solomon’s script is confusing and gives the cast too little to do. Soderbergh said that he was inspired to make “Full Circle” after seeing Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 film ‘High and Low”. However, although the plots are similar, there is very little here stylistically that reminds us of the great Japanese director.
Only the first episode, where there is a botched kidnapping, has some suspense. And the doppelganger subplot involving Danes’ and Oliphant’s son (Ethan Stoddard) and another boy (Lucian Zanes) gets kind of creepy. Unfortunately, the rest of the series goes downhill rapidly, and what seemed, at first, to be a meaty role for CCH Pounder as a Guyanese kingpin gradually deflates and slips through her fingers.
Altogether, a waste of talent.