Plot: Gail (Michelle Williams) was once married to the son of J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), a stern, even miserly man who also happens to have more money than anyone else…ever. Her husband was poisoned by the temptations of wealth, so when she divorced him, she asked for no money, just sole custody so her children wouldn’t be cared for by their drug addicted father. Years later, her son John (Charlie Plummer) is a teenager and is abducted off the street into a van, by a group of criminals who demand a ransom of seventeen million dollars. This is a vast sum, but to the senior Getty, it is mere pocket change, but still he refuses to pay. Gail begs and pleads with her former father in law, but he is steadfast that he will not give in. He does call in a fixer (Mark Wahlberg) however, to assist as long as the costs are minimal. With her son’s life on the line, can Gail somehow manage to ensure the his safe return, with or without the help of his self absorbed, greed infused grandfather?
Entertainment Value: This movie earned a massive amount of coverage when it was announced that despite the movie being wrapped, Kevin Spacey would be replaced by Christopher Plummer. This would lead to a one week reshoot of all scenes that involved one of the primary roles, which was unheard of. As it turns out, the decision seems to have been a wise one, as Plummer shines here and seems much more suited to the role than the makeup laden Spacey from the original previews. Plummer, fresh off a turn as Scrooge in another film, channels a whole new level of greed and ice water in the veins, in a role that makes him impossible to like, unlike you just have a soft spot for tyrants and misers. Michelle Williams is excellent and provides a capable emotional anchor, while Mark Wahlberg is passable and more restrained than usual, but is in over his head with his costars. The movie is a little slow at times, but the tension remains strong and the performances more than compensate for those instances. The visuals are dark and help build an atmosphere of dread and tension, giving the movie this almost oppressive vibe throughout. I found All the Money in the World to be a well crafted and highly effective thriller, well worth a look.
A brief instance of naked flesh in a scene that takes place within an opium den, but nothing graphic or extensive in terms of sexual content. Some bloodshed unfolds, include a rather gruesome ear removal sequence that I wouldn’t call graphic, but it does twinge the nerves a little. The movie also has some gunshots, but again, nothing too extreme. The most stressful element here is that young Paul suffers needlessly, while his grandfather spends millions on pieces of art and trinkets. Some dark stuff. The dialogue is well written and can be quite intense. Plummer’s lines are ice cold and he really runs with the cruel, miserly old man role here. His dialogue is dark, depressing, and cold, but really resonates within the character. I also appreciated the chemistry between Wahlberg and Williams, even if those scenes didn’t produce much in terms of memorable dialogue. On the craziness side of the fence, Plummer’s performance is out and out off the rails, as he really embraces this cruel persona and his mere presence keeps the vibe off kilter.
Overall Insanity: 2/10