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All the Money in the World: Movie Review

It’s hard to believe that less than a month ago, Ridley Scott removed nearly every trace of Kevin Spacey from the final film. Replacing the disgraced actor is Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty. There is one distant shot of Spacey, but I doubt most will be able to tell.  Replacing an actor is nothing new, but the quick turnaround is impressive. Even more impressive is the fantastic performance from Plummer who didn’t have much time to prepare for the role. In all honesty, when the first trailers were released with Spacey, I was turned off by the poor make-up job. Plummer did not need prosthetics and because of this I am sure gave a much more believable performance.

When 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) was kidnapped, his mother Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) reached out to her former father-in-law J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) to pay the 17-million-dollar ransom the kidnappers were demanding.  Getty was the richest man in the world, but he was also the cheapest. Getty has such a tight grasp on his fortune that he refuses to spend it on anything that doesn’t have a financial gain for him, not even to save his own family.  He does however task his business manager (and former CIA agent) Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) to try and negotiate with the kidnappers. This ordeal goes on for months, to the point where the kidnappers sell John to more ruthless criminals.

Despite fantastic turns from Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World”, was too paint-by-numbers to be engaging.  There are a handful of great scenes. One of my favorites would be the foot chase through the city in the final act, where John is seeking help from residents that don’t want to get involved.  Almost every scene with Plummer is mesmerizing, and for the life-of-me can’t understand why he wasn’t cast in the first place.  I also want to mention the solid performance from Romain Duris who played one of the kidnappers that developed a fondness and sympathy for his captive.  I wish that “All the Money in the world” did a better job at building the tension. I just never felt John was in any real danger, aside from when he was getting his ear removed.  This is a decent film with some great performances, but I found it very forgettable.

By: Marc Ferman