All The Money In The World Review – Spoiler Free
All The Money In The World is a film which comes directed by Ridley Scott and stars Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris and Charlie Plummer. The film follows the real life story of J. Paul Getty who was the richest man in the world during a time where his grandson was kidnapped and he refused to pay the ransom to get him back.
This is the film that last year had some controversy surrounding the making of it due to the situation with its previous star Kevin Spacey (see here). In response to the Kevin Spacey incident, it seems that Ridley Scott thought it would be better to re-shoot parts of the film involving J. Paul Getty with Christopher Plummer, thereby removing Spacey from the film entirely. At first I thought this was a major thing, but when you watch the film, you’ll see that although Paul Getty is a major character in the plot, his scenes are actually not that many.
Going into this film, I had actually felt quite confident with the quality for it due to my belief that Ridley Scott knows what he’s doing. In case you don’t know him, this is the director that brought us films such as The Martian (read review), Gladiator and Blade Runner. In watching the film, I found it to be quite well directed, but I felt that the kidnapping and the drawn out negotiation process didn’t really have enough tension for me to stay interested in it for long. Sure there are some gruesome things that happen to the victim which might make a few in the cinema squirm and there’s a certain danger to that element, but there’s something off about all the characters in the film.
What we have here is J. Paul Getty, he is a character who seems to be some type of modern day scrooge and is incredibly greedy and concerned with nothing but the money in his bank account. Although one of his family members is kidnapped, he refuses to pay for the ransom, even if it means the boy’s life as “he just doesn’t have the money for it”. As an audience member, you basically get the impression that the guy is just mean and doesn’t care, so he’s not likeable at all. The other two central characters in the film are Gail (the boy’s mother) and Fletcher (Paul Getty’s security guard). They both investigate the kidnapping together. While these characters represent the side of the boy who is kidnapped and do seem to care about his well being, because there wasn’t too much tension I felt from the danger the boy faced, I never really got into what these characters were all worrying about. It was a little bit off somehow. I would like to go into the issues I felt the film had with its villain Cinquanta, who is the kidnapper. But to do that, I have to spoil too much, but there’s big problems in the film because of this one guy.
The acting is all really good in the film. I enjoyed the Christopher Plummer performance and if all he was going for with his character was ‘be mean’ he got it just right. Michelle Williams was also really good in her role and so too was Mark Wahlberg, it’s a pity though that their characters weren’t too interesting to follow though.
Overall All The Money In The World is an interesting film that is filled with themes of selfishness and greed due to the influence of money. I wasn’t really aware of J. Paul Getty at all before watching this film and now I have probably a bad impression of the businessman. The film fits in well during the Christmas period as films around this time do tend to follow similar themes, with the meaning in the end of it all for viewers to be generous and caring rather than greedy and selfish. I think maybe the film company would have been better off releasing this maybe a few weeks ago, instead of after Christmas. But maybe this is the better window, what would I know about the box office? Either way, this is a well put together film about a mean, greedy and very rich family that were hard done by, by a bunch of kidnappers. There’s a few issues with characters and it didn’t have enough tension for me to be on the edge of my seat, but it’s not bad either and pulls together as something entertaining in the end.