Title – All the Money in the World (2017)
Director – Ridley Scott (Blade Runner)
Cast – Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris
Plot – The true story of oil tycoon John Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) and his refusal to pay the ransom money for his kidnapped grandson John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) in the early 70’s which lead to an event that captured the attention of the entire world.
“If you can count your money you’re not a billionaire”
Review by Eddie on 02/05/2018
Likely to be forever known as the film that erased Kevin Spacey from its existence, All the Money in the World is in many ways a fair feat of filmmaking in its ability to rearrange its pieces at the last minute and replace one of its key actors with late ring-in Christopher Plummer but Ridley Scott’s passionless affair is, outside of this component, a dull and rather bland telling of an incredible true life story.
An event that griped the world back in the early 70’s, when oil tycoon and renowned billionaire John Paul Getty refused to pay the ransom fee for his kidnapped grandson John Paul Getty III, the story of the Getty’s and this particular time in their life should make for edge of your seat viewing but as has been the case with a large portion of Scott’s more recent films (barring the fun The Martian), Money just never truly threatens to become a genuinely thrilling experience and squanders its chance to be the quintessential portrayal of this world capturing event.
Scott fails to connect us to these characters in any significant way, this is particularly harmful when we feel no connection to the kidnapped John Paul (portrayed here by Charlie Plummer) while the always good Michelle Williams and the more sleepwalking like Mark Wahlberg fail to make much of mark as John Paul’s grieving mother Gail Harris or Getty’s ex-CIA right hand man Fletcher Chase respectively and with this, the chances of Money becoming a truly engaging experience are squashed down by a procession of scenes and scenarios that become rather uninteresting when they should be gripping us tightly and not letting go.
It’s a real shame as you get the sense that Scott in his heyday would’ve made this a more heartfelt and pulse-pounding feature, although screenwriter David Scarpa’s script leaves a lot to desired and the effect of having to re-do much of the films key scenes with the solid and Oscar-nominated Plummer may’ve likely had a much larger domino effect on a film, that feels like it lacked a clear direction, a standout lead and the unfortunate inability to make us care for a bunch of people going through a very public and horrific scenario.
Final Say –
The true life story at the heart of Scott’s film is a highly interesting and potentially thrilling one to be told but All the Money in the World is a cold and pedestrian affair enlivened only by its high quality production shimmer and shine. For a more engaging Getty ride its likely Danny Boyle’s mini-series Trust will be the way to go.
2 farmhouse surgeries out of 5