Gods of Egypt Movie Review

Year: 2016

Rating: M

Length: 127 minutes

Main Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Brenton Thwaites

Chadwick Boseman

Elodie Yung

Gerard Butler

Geoffrey Rush

Distributed by: Summit Entertainment

Lionsgate

Directed by: Alex Proyas

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Written by Nelson Cumming

This was not a good day at the movies. Needless to say, God’s of Egypt will hopefully be forgettable at best. The only reason it will not be forgettable will be because it was bad enough that it seared into my memory bank. Most of the material goes into the former but some belonged to the latter. Gods of Egypt is full of cinematic errors, boring characters, a poorly recycled plot and odd sequences. There were only one or two scenes moments where my disbelief was suspended and I was into this film (That is a good thing). Not surprisingly both of them involved the great Geoffrey Rush and even then he did some stupid stuff too! With a cast that involved Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites, and Nikolaj Costar-Waldau, Gods of Egypt tried to create a story that was inundated with action sequences that fell flat. Unfortunately, what little “story” they had fell flat too.

Horus (Nikolaj Costar-Waldau) the good grandson of Ra is the antihero of the film when the antagonist Set (Gerard Butler) defeats him in a fight and ruled Egypt with an iron fist and intolerable cruelty. The fight leaves Horus blind by Saul gouging his eyes out and thus robbing him out of all his powers. Because of this, Horus lives in exile. A young man called Bek (Brenton Thwaites) discovers where Horus’ eyes are stored and works with Horus to retrieve his eyes (sounds really stupid doesn’t it), defeat Set and restore peace in Egypt.

There were several little things that were wrong with this film and it was not because Caucasian actors did play most of the ancient Egyptians. That is just the tip of the iceberg. There were many issues that were worse that included the following:

  1. Choppy editing
  2. Poor scriptwriting with even poorer delivery from the actors
  3. Bad moments of cinematography and lighting (oh my God)
  4. Morals of the story that are pontificated throughout because this filmmaking craft of portraying these morals was either inept or bad enough that I didn’t care.

Those were some (not all) of the bad elements in this film that caught my attention. There were edits in this film where a character would be holding something and then they cut to a different angle of the same character (note they did not cut away) where the thing they were holding vanished out of thin air. Another example of the editing debacle occurs when Horus has his blindfold covering his eye sockets and when he collects one of his eyes the camera cuts to a different angle where Horus’ blindfold is up so we see him beginning to put his eye back into his socket. I did not see the part where Horus actually had to lift his blindfold to put his eye back in. It was the same choppy editing seen on any YouTube blog. That is the best way I can explain it.

All the lines spoken from this film had no variety and rarely had a hint of emotion. When Bek says, “The only man that can save us is Horus” he says it as flatly as if he was saying the weather forecast. The actual script was the boring same old thing that is typically heard in most films in the ancient Egyptians with lines along the lines of “If you betray me, you die” and “Only the strongest man can be king of Egypt!”

There was one scene in the film at the beginning that involved warriors reflecting Horus’ light beams with their shields. The only problem with that is those light beams reflected straight into the camera and directly into my eyes causing me squint and nearly look away. It was like if someone reflected light from their phone or watch into your eyes at high school except the beams were five times brighter and they did it ten times per second. I thought it was just my eyes because they are mildly light sensitive. However I heard critics had the same problem and it is much worse if you are watching it 3-D. I was spared because I watched it in 2-D.

Finally, there were morals in the story that had to be pontificated (meaning the characters had to say the morals of the story, instead of presenting these ideas in a way the audience can relate to). Morals pontificated included: humans need to have free will so they can make good and bad decisions, which is why evil cannot be eradicated; Rewards in life and the afterlife should not be determined lots of material possessions. Instead fate should be determined by the deeds that people make and finally true love conquers lust and greed.

So on this day, I shall say that this is one of those late summer blockbusters that did not get really good at all. I was surprised Geoffrey Rush accepted this role because he is just so much better than what was on offer. He tries so hard to be good and convincing but the script just did not let him work his magic. He stole the show to be honest. Even though Rush only got about 10-15 minutes of screentime in this 127-minute debacle. So I had to watch 115 minutes of this film Geoffrey Rush free. Unlucky me. DUD.

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Hail, Caesar! Movie Review

Genre: Action Comedy

Year: 2016

Rating: PG

Length: 106 minutes

Main Cast: Josh Brolin

George Clooney

Scarlett Johansson

Aiden Ehrenreich

Channing Tatum

Jonah Hill

Directed By: Joel and Ethan Coen

Distributed By: Universal Pictures

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMqeoW3XRa0

 

Written review by Nelson Cumming.

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The Coen brothers have had quite a résumé directing a variety of movies from Fargo, The Big Lebowski and No Country for Old Men. Hail Caesar! is a good film however it is not up to the Coen brothers very high standards of filmmaking. Think of it like Cars and Brave against the Toy Story franchise created by Pixar. Sure Cars and Brave are good movies but they don’t live up to Pixar’s standards. However, they were good movies nonetheless. With professional stage productions, witty dialogue, great casting, and subtle humor. Hail Caesar! works well and it was a pleasing film to see.

 

The Coen brothers have had quite a résumé directing a variety of movies from Fargo, The Big Lebowski and No Country for Old Men. Hail, Caesar! is a good film however it is not up to the Coen brothers very high standards of filmmaking. Think of it like Cars and Brave against the Toy Story franchise created by Pixar. Sure Cars and Brave are good movies but they don’t live up to Pixar’s standards. However, they were good movies nonetheless. With professional stage productions, witty dialogue, great casting, and subtle humor. Hail, Caesar! works well and it was a pleasing film to see.
Josh Brolin plays Edward Mannix: a Hollywood film executive who has to locate the famous Brad Whitlock (George Clooney) who has been kidnapped on set for a major film called, you guessed it, Hail, Caesar! Set in the 1950s this film pretty much makes fun with lots of things during that era like communism, capitalism, religion and most importantly the golden age of Hollywood in the film industry. The Coen brothers generate humour out of all of these concepts without making a mockery of them thereby making the whole film lighthearted.
The casting is great in this film. Josh Brolin’s character is a man who has to oversee all of his stars from a variety of different films and makes sure they are in check or covers up the scandals they are involved in from nosey journalists. His talent pool includes:
1. Scarlett Johansson who plays a Marylyn Monroe figure who has to hide her pregnancy while filming a visually beautiful scene.
2. Channing Tatum who plays an aspiring actor playing a navy sailor in a musical with great choreography and chemistry with a bartender and navy seal extras that was very entertaining to watch.
3. Aiden Ehrenreich (who steals the show with his charm) plays a young country and western actor who has trouble with his director (Ralph Fiennes) when he struggles to transition to romantic dramas to great comedic effect.
4. Finally, it is George Clooney, the golden goose who is involved playing a Roman centurion for the big budget film called Hail, Caesar!. He gets into trouble by getting abducted by a group called “The Future”
The Coen brothers also get the right ideas in terms of lighting, stage production and cinematography. They are bright, elaborate and well crafted respectively. These techniques help build the lighthearted humour and script that they are working off. They are the little things in filmmaking that go a long way. I thought the film was a little long and dropped momentum in some places but it wasn’t as damaging as it could of easily have been.
I feel I need to bring this up before people go see this film so they understand. I think it is crucial to say that this film requires the viewer to have some awareness of concepts of religion, Hollywood and political ideologies at the time. Just the general gist of it will do. There is no need to analyse these things. But some of the funny scenes involve a basic understanding of these concepts in order for it to be funny.
Overall this was a picture that was well made with good casting choices with nice subtle humour. I could see how this film will bore the casual audience who are into action and superhero films as Hail, Caesar! is built and structured around the spoken word (Like the Coen brothers other films ) instead of adrenaline-fueled action scenes with minimal dialogue. But I looked past that and saw it for what it was: An ode to the Golden Age of Hollywood. ***3/4

 

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Genre: action comedy

Year: 2016

Rating: M

Runtime: 101 minutes

Main Cast: Kevin Hart

Ice Cube

Directed by: Tim Story

Distributed By: Universal Pictures

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWfmmwdCHTg

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Written by Nelson Cumming

This is a movie. There is really not much more to say. I’ll try my best to write to my normal sized length but this will be short because there was nothing in Ride Along 2 that was great or terrible. It is not like How To Be Single where there were lots of good and not-so-good ideas to discuss. This film just came and went. This film is completely forgettable. If someone posted his or her entire review in the form of a tweet I would not say that review had lacked depth, the movie did. Ride Along 2 is full of clichés in the buddy-cop genre with one-dimensional characters and a lousy script. Maybe if you have nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon it is watchable but Ride Along 2 is not a must see.

 

Kevin Hart plays newly certified cop Ben Barber who is out to prove to himself that he is a good, successful cop. Ice Cube plays an experienced police officer James Payton and is Kevin Hart’s partner. Together they try and stop a shipment of drugs entering Miami while hunting down the drug lords responsible. This is a pretty simple setup. At least the story was not convoluted. There’s a positive. Kevin James tries his best with unfunny dialogue and is good at slapstick. There’s another positive. Both cops have good chemistry with each other despite the face Ice Cube’s character is emotionally detached most of the time. I wish I could find something else good about this movie but (In Cletus’ voice from The Simpson’s Movie) “I can’t, I-I simply can’t”

 

In terms of buddy cop action movie clichés a comment on Rotten Tomatoes described it perfectly. He said, “Ride Along 2 is everything I expected, it was not everything I wanted”. Any cliché you’d expect from Ride Along 2 happens. I have a checklist of some (but not all) the clichés I noticed in the film so SPOILER ALERT in in order.

 

  1. Every bullet always misses the protagonist but nearly every bullet fired by the protagonist hits its desired target.
  2. The head of the police department fires the lovable pair of cops from their jobs for doing something stupid.
  3. The dim-witted partner will be the one that always stuffs up a sting operation by his own incompetence.
  4. The crook will be running away from the cops into various housing backyards and the first road the crook runs across will have the officers’ police car right in front of him.
  5. The disguise the dumb cop used to blend into the villain’s late night party will stick out like a sore thumb. END OF SPOILERS

 

I did not even include the clichés from action sequences and boy there were a lot!

 

Also the script does not offer much in terms of funny and interesting dialogue. But boy does Kevin Hart tries hard and I applaud him for that. I guess I can also thank Kevin Hart for he is not the African American motor mouth that I believed he was from the Celebrity Roast with Justin Bieber. He toned it down a little for this film. At least he can do the slapstick comedy parts well. Ice Cube can be funny (See 21 and 22 Jump St for example) but is given no real opportunity to be in this script. The only opportunity he can try to be funny is insulting his partner for doing dumb things.

 

As I said from the beginning nothing in this movie is terribly bad. It’s just very little is good either. I have never seen the original Ride Along but I heard from other critics that Ride Along 2 is a copy-paste job of the original. So if you are into car chases and comedy from a buddy cop film it is for you and you can watch it but don’t expect the unexpected. The film is just as original as it’s title for a sequel *1/4

How To Be Single Movie Review

Year: 2016

Rating: M

Main Cast:   Dakota Johnson

Rebel Wilson

Alison Brie

Leslie Mann

Directed By: Christian Ditter

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrDI4-BSovs

 

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How to be Single is a film that will altogether gain a mixed review from me for a wide variety of reasons. There was not really a moment where I thought the movie was terrible yet there was nothing that was really great either. I was wondering why the film title was called “How to be Single” when it should have been called “How to Screw Yourself Over While Screwing Other People in the Process”. It was half amusing, half dramatic but How to be Single plays safe and shoots in all sorts of directions hoping something works. Some do and some don’t. It will entertain the young women it is marketed towards but it will remain to be seen if this film will bring interest to others.

 

The whole film shows an intertwining series of stories with the common thread revolving around what the characters learn about relationships through the many mistakes they make. There were some scenes that were particularly funny (all involving Rebel Wilson’s character) and there was others that were meant to be dramatic that kind-of worked. At the same time there was aimless direction from Christian Ditter in a scattershot fest of ideas with some serious déjà vu with all the characters making the same mistakes over and over again and uneven narrative pacing..

 

Alice (Dakota Johnson) is a recent graduate in a relationship that wants to be newly single. Robin (Rebel Wilson) shows Alice the party life around New York City and we see Alice along the highs and lows of the party life she is leading. Eventually all the characters realize their fate and where they belong in their world. There are 3 or 4 subplots in this film. Some of these subplots that worked include Leslie Mann’s character trying to have a baby from a donor and a relationship with a man after years of enjoying the single life. A subplot that did not work was dating computer analyst called Lucy who tries to find a guy through online dating. This doesn’t work because that story is so detached from the other subplots it could have been cut out.

 

Praise and criticism has to go to the director Christian Ditter. I will reward him with praise first. He tries to weave in and out of the lives of all the people in the film and lets them have their day in court by giving them enough screen time. There are also different endings for all the women and men that are not stale and predictable (like they all get married and live happily ever after). Each ending comes from a life lesson that is learned from these characters. They have heartwarming scenes and messages about embracing love despite fear while also encouraging independence from significant others.

 

Now the criticism from the director comes from how disjointed the film is from narrative pacing, character development and what genre this film is meant to be. The pacing of this film is not smooth at all because all these characters live the same life and same mistakes over and over again before they suddenly have moments of clarity and change their perspectives and behavior at a moments notice (I call it Deux Ex Clarita. I know it’s a bad pun. Sue me). It is not a smooth transition that is believable. Also the film will be a romantic comedy one minute and a romantic drama the next that gives overall atmosphere of the film a lack of consistency.

 

Overall if you don’t like the violence in films such as Deadpool this is a decent substitute considering that there is a strong cast, there are laughs in it and the endings are not cliché and predictable. But it is also plays safe by offering a scattershot fest hoping a bullet hits the target something. A baseball allegory would be that this film will get foul balls and strikes but at least they score singles and don’t concede outs. **1/2

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Year:2016

Rating:M

Length: 102 Minutes

Cast:  Ben Stiller

Owen Wilson

Will Ferrell

Kristen Wiig

Penelope Cruz

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

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Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are back after a fifteen-year long wait between Zoolander and Zoolander 2. Unlike the fifteen-year long wait between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, Zoolander 2 does not breathe new life into the characters nor is it offered a hero’s welcome. With an uneven plot, numerous gags that don’t work and a complete inundation of celebrity cameos, Zoolander 2 does not live up to its hype. The funniest scene was the actual climax, which was absolutely hilarious but the reward was not worth it because I had to see 80 minutes of disappointment before I got 15 minutes of good material #oops.

 

Here is the short, board premise of the film (The Fountain of Youth subplot is so left-of-centre that I could not really describe it accurately without going into a twenty- line paragraph). Derek and Hansel have been recluses for 15 years. They decide to make a comeback in Rome where a big fashion show is held. The problem is there is someone who is killing celebrities and only Derek Zoolander and Hansel can save the world’s most beautiful people.

 

Ben Stiller plays Derek Zoolander: a highly arrogant, naïve, idiotic, self-absorbing, metro-looking man who believes that he is gods gift to beauty and owns the catwalk. He social skills are also limited but he displayed kindness in his heart despite the fact he didn’t know how to express it. His sidekick is Hansel played by Owen Wilson who strives for beauty as much as Derek Zoolander but lives his life in a relaxed transcendental state.

 

I have a confession to make: I had high expectations for this film and because of that, I was disappointed. I ultimately gave the original Zoolander film the benefit of the doubt. We are currently in the era of social media, which gives some people the inane logic that self-absorption is the key to social acceptance. I thought this was where the character of Derek Zoolander would thrive because the social media world fits him perfectly. I imagined there would be tons of new gags that would only be befitting of Derek Zoolander in that world but instead, they rehashed lots of gags from the previous Zoolander films, which a person would not understand if they did not see the original.

 

9 out of 10 of the gags in the film just were not funny, not embarrassingly unfunny but unfunny nonetheless. There was one “gag” in particular that just made my skin crawl. When Derek meets his son for the first time in many years he is shocked to realize that he is overweight and not the spitting image of himself. He says to Hansel that because he is overweight he must be a terrible person. It was not even a mean-spirited joke, it was not a stereotypical joke it was not even offensive for the sake of being offensive it was just plain mean. The only saving grace this film actually has is when Will Ferrell’s character Jacobim Mugatu returns, then the film starts to get some traction and slowly becomes funny (after watching two-thirds of the whole film)

 

I am going to mention the cameo appearances because they permeate throughout at such an annoyingly unhealthy level that it is impossible to ignore. For anyone who is over 18 reading this review and love the alcoholic beverage or two (or five) you can play a drinking game: A mouthful of grog every time celebrity makes a cameo. A wide majority of the cameos were just distractions of the plot and considering that there are at least 15-20 cameos it thus made the film disjointed. Half of them were also were mentioned by their name which defeats the purpose of the cameo.

 

Despite all of this there was a climatic scene and ending that was so hilarious I almost recommend seeing the film based on the scene alone.

 

Almost.

 

But considering the uneven plot that was exacerbated by celebrity cameos, unfunny humour, and in-your-face product placement the climax ultimately could not save the film entirely *1/2

Deadpool Movie Review

Year of Release: 2016

Genre: Superhero

Length: 108 minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds

Morena Baccarin

Ed Skrein

Directed by: Tim Miller

Distributed by: Marvel Comics

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The superhero genre has a cesspool of morally righteous characters who’s heroes live a rich and lavish lifestyle and are 100% committed to saving the world from impending evil. Some of the movies with this premise are good and some are bad. If there were a place in the Marvel catalogue for the character of Deadpool he would make himself known by breaking that conventional mold with his sharp tongue and rapier wit. In a superhero movie that has not moved into new territory since The Incredibles, Deadpool (played by Ryan Reynolds) is a movie that works through unrelenting bawdy humour that is interweaved in throughout several close combat action sequences.

 

Deadpool’s identity is Wade Wilson, a man who is a mercenary. Wilson meets the love of his life Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin) and after a year together Wilson gets diagnosed with cancer. Wilson is given an opportunity to cure his terminal cancer but with the cost of intense physical pain and skin disfigurement. Deadpool is on a quest to find the only man who can cure his disfigurement. That man is the same person who gave him his powers and is also his enemy. He is played by actor Ed Skrein whose real name is Francis (and his cover name is Ajax).

 

Deadpool’s character has an energetic and playful personality that differs from other superheroes. It only takes a look at the opening credits of the movie to understand what Deadpool is all about: A smart-mouthed bastard full of wit and dick jokes who also loves to play with his food before he eats it. To put it in other words: an entertaining and hilarious S.O.B. The opening scene where Deadpool flicks chewing gum onto the camera screen only to casually wipe it off the lens is the start of the fourth wall breaking that is abundant in order to let us in on the joke. The character is also funny in his self-awareness as well as there’s jokes in this film about Ryan Reynolds said by Deadpool (who may I remind you is played by Ryan Reynolds). You can just tell that the writers had so much fun scripting this film.

 

There are a couple of minor things that were wrong in this film however they are relatively minor and they don’t damage the movie but they are noticeable such as the love story between Vanessa Carlysle and Wade Wilson characters. The love story was really good in terms of its development and how it fits the Deadpool character and gives him humanity. It also gives Deadpool a motive to keep fighting. The only thing I have a problem with is it felt rushed but you get what you needed to know. It was like they made a 30-minute story and condensed it into a 20 minute one. The actual love story is actually entertaining enough for viewers as the characters Vanessa Carlysle and Wade Wilson are believable in their bizarre way and the actors have good chemistry together. So overall we go with it but I’d wonder where it would have gone had they been given more time.

 

Overall I liked this film because of how well developed the Deadpool character is and how he breathes new life in the superhero genre. We don’t see him as arrogant due to his unrelenting jokes but because of his self-awareness, vulnerability and knowledge of what is right and wrong we support him and engage in his actions and juvenile antics. ****

 

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Year of release: 2016

Genre: Comedy

Length: 102 minutes

Main Cast: Zac Efron

Robert De Nero

Directed by: Dan Mazer

Distributed by: Lionsgate

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There is a popular metaphor that when someone gives all their effort into something and massively succeeds they are said to be “swinging for the fences”. If this movie was swinging for the fences they were not hitting it out of the park, they were conceding foul balls and strikes. If I were to describe Dirty Grandpa it would be a mix between the films Bad Neighbors and Bad Santa but with a lack of comedy. Robert De Nero and Zac Efron play Dick and Jason Kelly in a film that had a predictable plot, a premise that is used as an excuse for the “comedy”, awful dialogue and very few laughs. This is a low for director Dan Mazer because given his past films; he can certainly direct better films than this. This film is pure cinematic torture.

The premise is Dick’s wife has died and she wanted him to move on with his life a find another significant other. Jason is the grandson of Dick (Efron) who is working in law and planning to get married to a control freak of a wife. Jason takes his grandpa to Florida at his grandfather’s request. Dick is intending to kill two birds with one stone on the road trip by bonding with the grandson he neglected for years and getting laid by a college girl, both through partying and getting wasted.

It is very clear from the outset this film is meant to deliver belly laughs instead of the little giggles and subtle laughs. The opening scene attests to that fact because the gags are outrageously over-the-top and bad. The opening scene is funeral for Jack’s Grandmother. These are some of the gags from scene one:

  1. Jack’s cousin Nick describes his job as a dog breeder to guests and describes the sexual action from his dogs with attention to detail to any of the guests.
  2. Nick smokes a joint and blows smoke directly at a photo-frame of Jack’s grandmother
  3. Jack’s wife is on her smartphone and asks Jack what colour tie he wants for the wedding (orange or salmon) during the eulogy of his grandmother’s funeral.

When I saw this movie there was half a laugh coming from a different person per gag. That is about how good it got in terms of audience reaction. No laughs coming from most or even half of the audience, no belly laughs or anything like that and I don’t blame the audience for that at all. It’s the lack of decent humor in the film.

Another major problem was the scriptwriting and its excessive use of the word fuck. They used it needlessly and so much with absolutely no comic effect whatsoever. This film uses it 162 times according to Wikipedia and it did not really make a bad joke funny, as a matter of fact, I was so desensitized by it halfway through I started getting tired and board when any of the characters ranted (particularly De Nero’s). The more and more this film goes on it gets worse and worse. There are characters in this film that are so immoral or unbelievable that I could really get into the mood watching it.

There is also backstory about why Dick neglected his children and grandchildren but with the majority of the film he is so vulgar about nearly everything no one should really care. There are also a couple of cliché story conventions that made the film so predictable that anyone could see what was coming a mile away. The film then plods along with unfunny gag after unfunny gag until the conclusion. At 102 minutes in length, any comedy would run into overstaying their welcome but for Dirty Grandpa, it overstayed it’s welcome after 20 minutes.

Dirty Grandpa offers so much given the history of director Dan Mazer and Actors Robert DeNero and Zac Efron yet they deliver less than nothing. In this context nothing means a lack of humour and less then nothing means feeling gross, annoyed and offended by how this abomination of a film was executed. I was going to give it a DUD initially but as I was writing this review the more I thinking about it and it was worse than I initially thought. It is not so bad as to be considered for being one of the worst films of all time, but will undoubtedly be a candidate for many movie-goers as one of the worst films of 2016             -**1/2

The Big Short Movie Review

 

Year: 2015

Genre: Drama

Length: 130 minutes

Main Cast: Steve Carrell

Christian Bale

Brad Pitt

Ryan Gosling

Directed By: Adam McKay

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

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In a Hollywood feature length film that covers financial corruption and the consequences that surround it, The Big Short portrays the lives of good and intelligent people that are pitted against unconscionable mortgage investors and the people who are being exploited by them. Steve Carrell (who appears to be transitioning to dramatic roles very well) is the lead of an ensemble cast tells the story of the people who were aware of troubles in the housing market before the now infamous Global Financial Crisis. Praise has to go to the scriptwriters who were very talented to balance just enough comedy into this dramatic script, something that a movie has not done that well since Argo.

 

The Big Short follows is a film that follows three stories that never interweave yet all share a common thread: They all figure on an educated hunch that that an economic collapse would happen due to an excess of sub-prime mortgaging. These characters decide to invest more then a billion dollars collectively that there will be a bust in the housing economy. If they win, they get ridiculously rich, if they lose, they are beyond broke. The people who are in on the scheme are Michael Burry (Christian Bale) a character with a glass eye and social disorder but is genius at number crunching; Mark Baum (Steve Carrell) a bitter hedge fund manager and Ben Rickart (Brad Pitt) who mentors two young investors to getting very rich.

 

All of the films characters are played convincingly as they play the antiheroes of the financial industry. All of these characters in their own way despise the system and yet still have faith in it. Steve Carrell is not one to be underestimated in playing dramatic roles, in the film Foxcatcher he plays a convincing character that is believable and he holds his own in The Big Short. He plays a bitter and cynical hedge fund manager who believes he is alone in a world where people did not see a reason to be worried or upset about how the economy would affect them. The same is said for Brad Pitts character Ben Rickart who despite leaving the financial world due to the nature of it, helps two young investors profit off it .

 

This film has a behind the scenes dramatization of the brokers in the housing industry that are responsible for loan lending to people that would unlikely be able to pay the debt back (sub-primal mortgaging). This film shows these people as lively and flamboyant, living in a hedonistic lifestyle with no remorse for the people they exploit. For me, this was a perspective into the one percent that is the investors of Wall Street. It was an easy and carefree life that only when it is realized how they obtained the life in the first place did this film show how wrong it actually was. It was jarring to see how these people saw their ends and justified it by their means.

 

Director Adam McKay is also stepping outside his comfort zone by directing a drama film (albeit mixed with comedy) for the first time and is a natural at it. This film draws lots of aspects of filmmaking very well. They mix the comedy and the drama together very well by using comedy sporadically to help drive the drama in the film. They also draw real life facts of these events and blend it in with filmmaking finesse to create a film that ends up being engaging and entertaining. There are also funny explanations of economic jargon such as “sub primal loans” and “collateralized debt obligations” through celebrity cameos and the constant breaking of the fourth wall. They also serve to help a casual audience to understand the complexities in the housing market.

 

If anyone is curious or interested about the events of the Global Financial Crisis and then this is a good film for anyone to see. ****1/4