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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Don't Be Fooled by Its Cast. THE BIG SHORT is a Disaster



I don't even know where to begin with THE BIG SHORT. That's not because it's so great that I want to make sure each word I write about it is thoroughly contemplated. Actually, it's the opposite; it's such a giant mess that I barely want to spend time thinking--much less writing-- about it. In fact, I have to keep checking its IMDB page to make sure it's not a David O. Russell film. Because it wreaks of self-important pseudo-commentary that is more hollow and garishly humorous than it cares to admit.

But this is an Adam McKay film, and he has created a similarly sloppy presentation of a group of finance guys who find themselves on the outside looking in and are pissed about it. So they try to overturn manipulate the financial system in an amazingly uninspired way that isn't even at the level of Office Space. It's crude, hollow and erratic. An not nearly as charmingly ballistic as it likes to think it is.

First of all, there was never really a point in the film in which I can even make out what anyone was trying to do. All I remember is a lot of white male angst, spastic outbursts and shrill demands, then very quiet moments at home with their mildly supportive wives (who are more often heard than seen). Ryan Gosling's character constantly breaks the fourth wall (in a non-ironic and non-clever way) every few minutes, in an attempt to provide the obligatory "aren't these guys a**holes" commentary; Brad Pitt is the overly confident dude who every so often likes to remind the other jerks that he has the upper hand; Christian Bale is the unpredictable yet awkward loner who tries to break the system without any contact with actual people; Steve Carrell is the ridiculously hot-tempered, cartoonish finance guy who literally hates everyone and everything; Finn Wittrock and Max Greenfield are pretty much the sucka MCs of their own weak a** scheme. (Normally I would refer to each of them as their character names, but I can't even be bothered).

Guys, this is not worth 2+ hours of film (and definitely not all the awards praise it's been getting, but
I digress). It's a atrocious. It's like watching skeevy, remarkably pin-brained Wall Street a**holes try to out-douche each other. The fact that they are the real problem with "the system" has somehow escaped them, and that may be the most infuriating part about this whole trainwreck. Seriously, no one feels sorry for these dudes.

But anyway, THE BIG SHORT is basically this year's American Hustle--uncomfortably strange, sporadically entertaining yet and overwhelmingly vapid.

Rating: D (* out of *****)

THE BIG SHORT is now playing in limited release, and opening nationwide on December 23.

2 comments:

Brittani Burnham said...

Ouch. This is not what I expected.

I loved American Hustle though, I'm not sure if I could love this one nearly as much, but I'll still check it out, with lowered expectations.

Courtney Young said...

You had me at "this year's American Hustle" ...that IS disappointing.

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