All the Money in the World (Blu-ray)

April 16, 2018 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

The story behind All the Money in the World is arguably more interesting than the film itself. That isn’t to say the film doesn’t have an interesting story to tell, but the replacing of a major actor is largely unprecedented. I find the film itself to be sorely lacking, but we’ll get more to that in a little bit. Last year was a big year with scandals and accusations. Kevin Spacey was recast of accusations against him. Director Ridley Scott (known for getting things done quickly) erased Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty and reshot his scenes with Christopher Plummer in the role. The end results are virtually flawless as far as continuity goes, and Plummer does indeed give a fine performance. I totally understand why it was decided to replace Spacey (Obviously financial reasons were factored in as well), but I still wonder what his performance would’ve been like. I’m not at all against ever seeing it one day, but such a thing seems unlikely to ever happen. The film tells the true story about the kidnapping of Getty’s grandson, John Paul Getty III in 1973. Sadly, for such an intriguing story and backstory, the film itself leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s take a look.

It’s July 1973 and we see a young man named Pablo (Charlie Plummer) getting kidnapped in Rome and held for ransom. Obviously the kidnappers know this young man is the grandson of oil tycoon, Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer). There should be little issues with him paying the ransom and his grandson being returned, right? Well you would be wrong there. The price for Pablo’s return is $17,000,000, but Mr. Getty refuses to pay it. Pablo’s mother, Gail (Michelle Williams) begs him, but to little avail. Enter Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) as one of Getty’s most trusted men to try and help resolve matters. As time ticks away and Getty still refuses to pay, several measures are taken to try and bring Pablo home alive. To show how serious they are, the kidnappers cut off one of Pablo’s ears (in a hard to watch sequence) and send it to them.

Some might know the outcome of the story, but even if you don’t, there’s surprisingly little tension here. I’m not sure what went wrong here, but the results are shockingly pedestrian. Wahlberg’s character is a bit too muted and understated while the rest of the film is surprisingly boring. For a film about a major kidnapping, it’s all a bit too tame. It lacks the urgency we expect from this sort of film, and instead just kind of sits there, plodding along very slowly. If anything, the film deserves a remake or at least a documentary that would prove more interesting than the final product we’re given.

Video: How’s it look?

Details are strong throughout, with little evidence of any last minute tinkering after the reshoots. Several sequences are either at night or in darkly lit spaces, but that doesn’t harm the final transfer in any way. The print is pristine, though that’s to be expected for such a recent film. The image is AVC encoded with a 2.40:1 ratio.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD track sounds about as you’d expect. The action sequences do what they need to while the vocals have the crispness we’ve come to expect. The bass kicks in several times, and the rear channels help add to the atmosphere of the film. While not the most robust track I’ve ever heard, it serves this film just fine.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Deleted Scenes – About ten mintes’ worth are included, though given the already lengthy running time, none of these were too integral to the film.
    • Overdue Bill
    • Load the Car for Rome
    • Welcome to Your New Apartment
    • It’s All Business to Them
    • He Said He Was Safe
    • What Do You Want?
    • No Mail Today, Signora
    • No Petrol
  • Ridley Scott: Crafting a Historical Thriller – This is your “EPK” with the traditional cast and crew interviews, thoughts on the story, the shoot and Ridley Scott. It’s a good, inclusive piece that checks all the boxes.
  • Hostages to Fortune: The Cast – This one, as the title suggests, takes a closer look at the cast as well as some of the real-life people they play.
  • Recast, Reshot, Reclaimed – It’s no secret that Kevin Spacey was originally cast (and played) the part that Christopher Plummer took over. This gives us some of the cast thoughts on it.

The Bottom Line

The pre-release backstory to this film is far more interesting than anything seen in the film. The early trailers (the ones featuring Spacey) had my attention and looked interesting, but the final film is just so pedestrian. It’s hard to see where exactly things went wrong, but for a film involving a kidnapping, it bored me big time. All the performances are fine, especially Christopher Plummer who was brought in last minute, but they’re in the service of a lackluster film. Skip it.

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