October 20, 2016
The Monuments Men.
Review #851: The Monuments Men.
George Clooney (Lt. Frank Stokes), Matt Damon (Lt. James Granger), Bill Murray (Sgt. Richard Campbell), John Goodman (Sgt. Walter Garfield), Jean Dujardin (2nd Lt. Jean-Claude Clermont), Bob Balaban (Pvt. Preston Savitz), Hugh Bonneville (2nd Lt. Donald Jeffries), Cate Blanchett (Claire Simone), Serge Hazanavicius (René Armand), Sam Hazeldine (Colonel Langton), and Dimitri Leonidas (Pvt. Sam Epstein) Directed by George Clooney.
Don't worry, the next review will be something in horror. This one just happened to come up.
It's clear that Clooney (who also wrote and produced the movie along with Grant Heslov) wanted to make a good movie about a real life event (while based on the book "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History" by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter), with a fairly established cast and a fair budget of $70 million. The end result however comes off as just an average kind of production that really seems lacking in its own kind of personality. The light-hearted barbs throughout the movie are good, but there really isn't much to these characters that you wouldn't see in any other corny kind of work. It's not so much that these characters are uninteresting, it's that the actors (such as Murray) can only stretch it as far as the script wants them to go (with the set up for these characters also being a problem). Clooney is vaguely there as a main character, with only the end scene being noteworthy, in showing some sort of emotion. Damon is only interesting when paired with Blanchett, but it doesn't go anywhere unexpected. Murray and Balaban are fine, but I still wish there was something to the background of even just one of these characters. Even taking into account some of the historical quibbles, it's not really anything that entirely special. The movie is just a bit under two hours, but it feels so long to the point where I was wondering when it actually will get to to some sort of action. It's not that the movie would've been better with more war action, it's that the movie takes its time to actually get to searching for the art. While I admit that I didn't hate the experience of watching it, I kept feeling that reading a book or documentary based on the real life Monuments Men would've been a bit more substantial. The movie does have wonderful scenery, but it is wasted in a movie that really seems to go nowhere other than just through some vague sort of motions. If you're looking for a movie to watch late at night to sleep on or watching it for an Art class (like I did), I suppose it could work on some level for you, but you might be better off researching the subject matter instead.
Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.