118 Min | Action – Biography – Drama | February 2014
IMDB Rating: 6.5
Director: George Clooney
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray
The Monuments Men Review: The Monuments Men is directed by George Clooney, staring himself, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. It tells of a group of soldiers tasked to locate and preserve pieces of art that have been stolen by the Nazis during World War II. It’s no secret that The Monuments Men was one of everyone’s most anticipated movies of 2013, and looked like a solid awards contender, until it was pushed to a February release date, purportedly due to the need for more time to be spent on the special effects.
The truth is, The Monuments Men could be, and really should be much more entertaining than it is. The best part of the film, and at the same time, its major problem, is the script. There are seemingly continuous laughs coming from quick one liners and witty character interactions, which keeps the audience somewhat engaged, although with such bleak subject matter, it’s debatable that a movie dealing with the eradication of an entire culture’s achievements should be as lighthearted as it is. But the flaw with the script is that it seems like the first act eats up almost all of it’s running time. It’s as if the film is missing large portions of the actual plot to make room for massive amounts of unnecessary exposition. Secondly, the film’s characters are stale and one dimensional at best. I invite anyone who sees the film to wait an hour after finishing the movie, and try to remember even three of the character’s names or what their role in the mission was. There isn’t a moment in the entire film where it isn’t simply John Goodman or Bill Murray dressed as World War II soldiers and not fleshed out characters.
Albeit all of the actors are exceedingly fun to watch, I assume that just watching all of these actors talk together at a press conference would be just about as entertaining. The Monuments Men isn’t even close to the worst movie of 2014 by a long shot, even though it is only February, but it’s arguably the most disappointing film of the year as of yet. I take no pleasure in saying this, but it’s noble intentions fell utterly short due to awful pacing, and forgettable characters. I haven’t read the book, but I have to think that it must be much better constructed and does this fantastic real life story more justice.
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