Dir: Ridley Scott; Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris, Andrew Buchan. 15 cert, 133 mins
All The Money in The World Film Review
We start the new year in full Oscar season as various studios fight to release their award bait projects, I love the season due to a substantial range of genres and content. A smooth transition from the hectic holiday season, allowing directors to spread their legs from strict studio lead projects. Ridley Scott takes a needed break from the Alien franchise to adapt Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J Paul Getty into a kidnap drama All the Money in the World, the real-life story about billionaire John Paul Getty.
All the Money in the World faced various controversial issues, due to Kevin Space being recast for academy awarding winning Christopher Plummer after several sexual abuse allegations. Making it the first movie in years to completely reshoot scenes so close to release, the public have to commend Ridley Scott for not allowing a toxic individual to ruin his passion project. A move which is rare in big-budget pictures, but the central question does it work? Or feel disconnected. ComiConverse dives into the kidnap drama with film critic Jordan Samuel.
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.
Ridley Scott’s (Alien Covenant) overlong biographical adaption tells the story of the kidnapping of teenager John Paul Getty ll (Charlie Plummer) and various attempts from his mother, making his billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty (Christoper Plummer) to save his bacon. These ideas should make for a good film in theory, while a couple of scenes in All The Money in The World do have the needed tension and terrific acting. Scott forgets to sprinkle moments like those throughout the runtime, leaving a good chunk of nothing with uninteresting dialogue and baffling action scenes.
Despite a ridiculous marketing campaign fixated on the cast members, All The Money in The World merely is too barebones and cliche to be remembered. The film is obsessed with showing wealth in all the glories, but sometimes Paul Getty just comes across as Mr. Burns from the Simpsons; coming at odds with the serious tone. He is a terrible man with cheap attitudes and disinterests in his grandson, don’t make for thrilling viewing instead ends up like a weekday soap.
The film’s biggest downfall is the distracting removal of Kevin Spacey, with some of the replacement scenes coming across messy and unfocused. An issue that always happens with last-minute additions, Plummer is decent, but it does come at a cost. I still wonder how the film would have played out with Kevin Spacey; perhaps a better film was lost.
A couple of scenes are great, but the buildup towards them is painfully slow, Ridley Scott (Alien) wanted to make an epic kidnap drama but doesn’t give the audience anything to enjoy the progress. The source material is glum and depressing, but this adaptation doesn’t have the urgency needed to be in the Oscar race, I expected more from the genius behind Alien (1979). Paul Getty was such an exciting man, but All The Money in The World just doesn’t give us any reason to care about his situation.
I wanted to experience a substantial thriller in All The Money in The World (2017) but instead got a lengthy and shamefully hollow kidnap romp. Performances are great but do not add enough grittiness and don’t make audiences care about the situation. Ridley Scott did his best with the source material, but results are half-baked – ending in a mediocre mess.