Before seeing this film, I thought that this could be interesting. A story about a boy getting kidnapped, but his wealthy grandfather won’t spring a dime to save him. Based on true events, no less.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Christopher Plummer (THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS , UP , THE LAKE HOUSE , and upcoming films THE LAST FULL MEASURE  and BOUNDARIES ), Charlie Plummer (THE DINNER  and the upcoming BEHOLD MY HEART ), who is not related to Christopher, Michelle Williams (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN , MANCHESTER BY THE SEA , SPECIES , and upcoming films I FEEL PRETTY  and VENOM ), Mark Wahlberg (DADDY’S HOME 2 , TED , THE DEPARTED , and the upcoming INSTANT FAMILY ), and Romain Duris (a ton of unknown stuff, and the upcoming JUST A BREATH AWAY ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Ridley Scott, known for ALIEN: COVENANT (2017), THE MARTIAN (2015), BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001), BLADE RUNNER (1982), and the upcoming untitled Alien: Covenant sequel (2019). Penning the screenplay is David Scarpa, known for THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (2008) and THE LAST CASTLE (2001). Composing the score is Daniel Pemberton, known for MOLLY’S GAME (2017), KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (2017), THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (2015), and the upcoming OCEANS’S 8 (2018). The cinematographer is Dariusz Wolski, known for ALIEN: COVENANT, PIRATES: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (2003), CRIMSON TIDE (1995), and the upcoming SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO (2018). Finally, the editor is Claire Simpson, known for THE SNOWMAN (2017), THE READER (2008), THE FAN (1996), and PLATOON (1986).
Overall, I was intrigued, but I can’t say that I was excited. The cast looked great, the ideas seemed interesting and ripe for serious drama, but I wasn’t going in with huge expectations.
This is my honest opinion of: ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
Set in Rome, circa 1973. John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) is the teenage grandson to the wealthiest man alive, J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer). Because of the boy’s connection to his grandfather, John has been kidnapped and are demanding millions of dollars from his grandfather. Despite the best and desperate efforts of his loving mother Gail Harris (Michelle Williams), J. Paul Getty refuses to pay the ransom, despite that he can afford it many times over.
I know this movie is a darling among a lot of people out there, but on personal level… I’ve had to see this movie twice. The first time I saw it I fell asleep at the one hour mark and woke up when it ended. So I saw it twice. I fared better… but not much better. I accepted that my first viewing was at 10:00 PM, so I was just tired. But falling asleep a second time, only missing the bits that I already saw, that’s should give you an idea of how I thought about this movie. It’s BORING.
That’s not to say that I don’t see why it’s getting rave reviews. The acting is top notch, and I think Christopher Plummer deserves a lot of credit for his last minute addition to the role that was previously held by the now disgraced Kevin Spacey. This is certainly Williams best performance that I’ve seen her in, although I never did quite understand what the deal was with her accent. Is that how Gail Harris really sounded? Anyway, I was able to get over it after awhile, simply because her performance was so good. And there’s some really great ideas: the corruption of wealth. And it’s very well magnified in J. Paul Getty, who has some really shitty reasons for not paying the ransom, but reasons that you wouldn’t be all that surprised since the audience is given a detailed history of Getty and how he amassed such wealth. He’s narcissistic, paranoid, a bastard, but no matter how little of his humanity you see, you never look at him and think “good guy.”
Unfortunately, the positive response out of me ends about there. While these ideas are quite interesting, they’re not presented within the story in a consistently interesting way. There’s long stretches of time where we’re given maybe too much of the characters interacting with each other, few of which are all that interesting. I certainly didn’t care about Getty III because he was a bratty teen toward his mom, set fire to his school, or whatever the hell he claimed he did. I can’t tell if this was Charlie Plummer not emoting correctly, maybe I disagreed with the script, or the character was simply, by default, not written very well. Either way, the only reason I wanted to see Getty III to get out safely was because I wanted to see Gail happy. As I said, Williams was one of the highlights of the film. This is also arguably Wahlberg’s most bland performance I’ve seen out of him. I almost dare to say that he’s better in the Transformers movies. Not that they were good and not that they gave him good roles, but at least those movies had explosions; the bare minimum of excitement. Wahlberg here… I didn’t feel like had anything to chew on. He seemed like another Han Solo type character to me. A flirt, silver-tongued, trying to be charming, except kind of failing at it, I didn’t agree with this performance. And for every interesting scene, there’s ten uninteresting ones, characters talking about things that I didn’t know how tied into the overall story. In short, it’s a slow, slow… slow churn. I usually don’t mind slower movies, but they have to be filled with good characters and that’s what this movie was lacking most of the time: interesting people.
I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority here and I do feel like this review was pretty repetitive, but I honestly don’t know what else I could say. Dull. That’s how I see this movie. A lot of people liked it. Awesome for them. If you looked at the trailer and thought it looked interesting, check it out. Maybe as a matinee showing, or a discount day at the cinemas. If nothing else, then you can decide where you stand with the film. I won’t say it’s bad, just… forgettable. J. Paul Getty couldn’t pay me enough to sit through this again.
My honest rating for ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD: 3/5
PS: Did you guys enjoy the film and want to know more detail? Well, this movie is, after all, based on a book: Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty by John Pearson. Dive deeper into this interesting story, click on the image below, and buy your own copy.