Christopher Plummer is so fantastic in ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD that there is absolutely no way Kevin Spacey had given even a tenth as of a great performance in the cut of the film with him as J. Paul Getty that is buried under some deep dark film archive somewhere. The reshoots to replace Spacey, because of the sexual shit he was accused of, took nine days, and you can’t even tell. It is seamless (except for maybe one shot where Plummer was superimposed of Spacey and one or two shots of the back of his head where it might’ve been Spacey too). And I am even more amazed because Plummer is probably at least in the film a good solid 45 minutes. Plummer will probably get a nomination for supporting and it will be well deserved, not just because he did all of this very quickly and efficiently. That being said, when he is not in the movie, the movie isn’t that good. In fact, it is boring, not interesting, and very bland. I have never seen a kidnapping plot/story be so boring. All the money in the world can buy you quick reshoots, but apparently it can’t make your movie fantastic.
The movie is inspired by the real life kidnapping of J. Paul Getty the third, J. Paul Getty’s grandson, and J. Paul Getty making waves because he refuses to pay the kidnappers ransom. Meanwhile his mother is hysterical and she is being helped by J. Paul Getty’s advisor and he is a former CIA operative. The film shows the kidnapping right off the bat, shows a quick way of how Getty made his fortune as the richest man in the world at that time and then dives into trying to get the son back. The film then dives into several kidnapping cliches and tropes, and a few twists that can be seen miles and miles away.
All of the acting in this movie is spades, and might be the only reason for even considering to watch the movie. Mark Whalberg redeems himself from the Transformers disaster earlier this year, and while Michelle Williams is again, really good as she is a really good actress, this film won’t win her any awards. She has had better roles and has been in better films than this. This film is directed by Ridley Scott, who could direct with a paper bag over his head, which is kind of the problem. His style seems to be on autopilot here, like he was more focused on making Alien: Covenant being his 2017 coupe de gras. Scott usually can inject tension into anything, but he left all of it at home with this one.
At two hours and 5 minutes, it really really drags. The only scenes that inject a giant spark into the movie is whenever Christopher Plummer is on screen. He is electrifying here and I think even better than his role in Beginners which he won an Oscar for. If only the movie were better would I be cheering for him to win again this year, but my bets are on Willem Dafoe or Sam Rockwell. I do want to shake Plummer’s hand for coming forward and helping the film get out of a serious jam.
Thankfully it didn’t cost me all the money in the world to see this film, just $5.50. If you are really wanting to see Plummer do his thing, that’s the only way I’ll give this film a recommendation, and I suggest to wait till its on a streaming service you already happen to be subscribed too. I probably won’t have any time in the world to ever want to watch this film again though.