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All the Money in the World Review

22 Dec

Unfortunately both stagnant as a thriller and underdeveloped as a drama. The premise is decently promising, with an interesting story somewhere to be told about the influence of power and money on not only the decisions made by the rich, but also on the presentation of that influence in the public eye. The problem here is that any supposed deconstruction of J. Paul Getty is missing for the most part, resulting in the film continually hitting the same character note (i.e. he’s super possessive of his money) in the hopes of building tension. When the film does attempt to go for more, it doesn’t have the needed impact. It’s evident that Getty is supposed to be seen here as an enigmatic recluse of sorts, but the film absolutely needs the dynamic between Williams’ Gail and Plummer’s Getty to be fleshed out in order for the kidnapping plot to be engaging. Instead, the two are kept at a distance throughout, with each interaction feeling cursory rather than urgent while Bland Master Mark Wahlberg waltzes around with plenty of screen time. The film also spends a considerable amount of time from the kidnapped son’s perspective, which isn’t inherently problematic aside from the fact that it relies heavily on a “sympathetic kidnapper” trope that isn’t really developed either. So, what we’re left with are several disparate storylines and characters that should in theory smoothly feed into each other, but in reality create a stilted, lazy narrative. Williams and Plummer are solid, but this is overall a lot of wasted potential.

GRADE: C+

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