Review - All the Money In the World
By midlandsmovies, Feb 23 2018 11:24PM
All The Money in The World (2018) Dir. Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott’s latest feature film All the Money in The World had a difficult birth. Mere months before its premiere, Kevin Spacey one of the film’s stars, had all his scenes cut and his part quickly recast in response to recent sexual assault allegations.
Scott found a replacement in Christopher Plummer who at 88 years old did not need the extensive make up to portray his character Jean Paul Getty. Reshoots were expensive and infamously urgent however due to the experience and professionalism of both Scott and Plummer the film benefits from such events.
All the Money in The World centres on the abduction of billionaire Jean Paul Getty’s Grandson, John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer). Scott focuses the story on Getty III’s Mother Gail (Michelle Williams) as she desperately tries to locate her kidnapped son, travelling across the world, doing whatever she can to get him back.
The ransom is simple, pay his abductors $17 million dollars and Jean Paul III will be released unharmed. Failure to do so will result in his torture and eventual death.
In 1973 Jean Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) was not only the richest man on the planet, he was the richest man who ever lived. Regardless of Gail’s status as a former Daughter-in-Law, Getty III is still a biological grandson, and a cherished one at that. However, she is surprised when Getty peacefully announces he would not be paying a single dollar towards the ransom as he has “no money to spare” or that it would set a dangerous precedent for chancers to adduct his other grandchildren. He does however enlist the help of former CIA operative Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) to retrieve his grandson safely, without any cost.
For a film to depict an infamous story it has to have a level of mystery or intrigue still intact so as to keep the audience interested. Scott fortunately exercises this by showing the audience how far Getty would go to save every penny, even installing a payphone inside his mansion so guests cannot make use of a free telephone call. Whilst the film does have thrilling moments, it is the expose on Jean Paul Getty’s frugal personality that takes centre stage for me.
At 80 years old, Ridley Scott is still proving he is one of the best directors of all time. With a manic reshooting schedule most filmmakers would crumble at the slightest hint, he not only completed the film on time but he also managed to conjure one of my favourite acting performances of all time in Plummer’s portrayal of Getty. Plummer being 88 years old himself and managing to prepare the character in time and excelling at it is nothing short of extraordinary. Michelle Williams is also on fine form as she disappears into her character however Mark Wahlberg’s performance is overshadowed and his character forgotten quickly in comparison.
In contrast to his previous work All the Money in The World can seem like a tame effort from Scott. The story is nothing particularly ground-breaking and whilst entertaining it does carry the same tropes and clichés most kidnapper/hostage films possess. Ultimately I enjoyed All the Money in The World, through stellar directing by Ridley Scott and acting from Christopher Plummer, this film had me shaking my head in disbelief at how wealthy yet morally bankrupt people can be.