Jungle
All the Money in the World

All the Money in the World

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Dec 25, 2017
Grade:
B-
Running Time: 
133 minutes

All the Money in the World made headlines in November after sexual assault allegations against actor Kevin Spacey led to him being removed from the film just ahead of its December release date. His supporting role as J. Paul Getty would instead be recast with Christopher Plummer just weeks prior to release. As daunting a task that might seem, director Ridley Scott and his crew manage to pull off the recasting marvelously as if nothing ever happened. Furthermore, Plummer excels in the role so convincingly that it’s difficult to imagine anyone else as J. Paul Getty.

 

As the richest man in the history of the world, oil tycoon J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) is not like any other person. In fact, just having the Getty family name already sets you apart from the rest of society. Naturally, there will be people who will do anything to get what they have, even if that means kidnapping Getty’s grandson, John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer)  and holding him ransom for $17 million. And while John’s mother, Gail Harris (Michelle Williams), would do whatever it takes to get her son back, J. Paul Getty isn’t willing to spend a cent of his vast fortune to guarantee his safe return.

 

All the Money in the World is a glaring look to the hold money and greed can have on someone and just how much of a terrible person J. Paul Getty was. This is a man who wouldn’t bat an eye when it comes to purchasing a $1.5 million painting, but when it comes to saving the life of his own grandson he couldn’t care less. Plummer is excellent at being deplorable, and even goes as far a making someone like Ebenezer Scrooge, a role which Plummer also played this year in The Man Who Invented Christmas, seem like a good person in contrast. He does some downright despicable things in the film, and even just when you think he might turn it around, he does something far worse. As much as you might hate him, Plummer is mesmerizing to watch.

 

That being said, the film isn’t without its faults. The beginning feels especially messy as it quickly jumps around from multiple time periods, moving between the kidnapping of John Paul Getty, to flashbacks of J. Paul Getty’s rise in business and a younger John Paul growing up. There’s a lot going on all at once, and it can a bit confusing. Once the film stays with the meat of the story, which is the kidnapping, then it begins to fire on all cylinders. At 133 minutes, All the Money in the World can feel a little long winded at times and has some issues with pacing as well. All of the scenes involving Plummer are excellent, but some of the others definitely could have been cut down for a cleaner and more straightforward film.

 

The real life kidnapping of John Paul Getty III is a fascinating story, and All the Money in the World does a solid job at telling it, although it could have definitely been better. That’s at no fault of Plummer, though, who gives a great performance as J. Paul Getty. It might not be award-winning material, but the film is still money well spent.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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