All the Money in the WorldAll The Money movie poster

A Film Review by Joseph Waukechon

One wouldn’t think a movie about finance and economics could manage to hold attention, much less thrill. Yet Ridley’s Scott’s historical thriller, “All the Money in The World,” stands triumphant as a solemn and quietly intense thrill ride.

Starring Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer and Charlie Plummer, the film follows the true story of Gail Harris, the estranged daughter-in-law of J. Paul Getty, the richest man on earth. When her son is kidnapped and held for ransom for seventeen million dollars, she and ex-spy Fletcher Chase must fight time, the media and, worst of all, Getty’s cheapness to get him home safely.

The film’s production went through public relations hell. About a month prior to the film’s release, the lead star, Kevin Spacey, was hit with a slew of sexual assault allegations. The filmmakers opted to recast and reshoot. Spectacularly, upon seeing this finished movie, one would have no idea of its hasty reshoots. Then, just as the filmmakers and sympathetic media were trumpeting the good- guys-do-well story of the production, it was leaked that Williams was paid under $1,000 for agreeing to return to the set, while Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million to acquiesce to Plummer’s recasting and reshoot; although recently he donated that money to TIME’S UP, a charity supporting women in Hollywood.

Outside distractions aside, the film is almost perfect. However, I did think the kidnapping scene in the beginning was rushed in a way that didn’t quite capture the gravity of the event. The tradeoff scenes were a tad confusing, and while the character of Getty was astonishingly written and performed by Plummer, his characterization as both the wise curmudgeon and the bad guy was a little hard to follow.

Having said that, the film has many powerful moments. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of the thug Cinquanta by French actor Romain Duris especially, as well as Plummer’s tortured captive performance, Wahlberg’s cynical and tired spy, and William’s mother who, when the world shoves a camera in her face, stays cool in the face of tragedy. I was also impressed by the beautifully bleak deep, sharp greys in which the film is shot and drenched in. Deliciously drab, stylish and gripping.

“All the Money,” explodes the concept of a serious, intense crime drama with a rollicking premise.

Joseph Waukechon is a Menominee and Chippewa college student, who’s officially enrolled in the Chippewa Tribe. He has always had a deep and laughably emotional love for film. He enjoys celebrating and rejecting them, but always giving credit where credit is due.