Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What's Wrong With The Monuments Men?

In a nutshell? Everything.
It's incredibly depressing to go into a movie like this with so much talent on every side of its production and come out with that "ugh" feeling. Essentially, Clooney came into this project with the same positive intentions and hopeful/purposeful outlook that has succeeded for him often in his previous works only to completely drop the ball this time around.
The movie just couldn't get a sense of what it wanted to be. On the one hand you've got a glorious cast of actors that each individually hold up the films they are a part of... so you want to give them all a chance to shine. But then this somehow manages to work against the pacing of the film... not just the pacing, but the entire genre. The Monuments Men bumbles around trying to find a core; a heart. And when all's said and done it is impossible to decipher whether it was meant to be a comedy, a war drama, an espionage film... at any given point it managed to attempt to be all of these ultimately failing to gain poignance in any category across the board.
I'd like to give favorable nods to the actors, but as much screen time as each of them had, it became overtly obvious that none of them actually had anything to do. Again I say, no heart. Perhaps the screenplay has something to do with these challenges.

I wonder what, if anything, was left on the cutting room floor. In fact, during Hugh Bonneville's most crucial scene I felt as though the script had skewed so far out of context that not only had the moment not been earned, but the narration running over it didn't even seem to make sense given the timeline we had been shown to that point.
If it were the screenplay's fault, the blame would still rest on Clooney's shoulders. This is disheartening for me since I have been such a fan of his works in the past. I can only hope he picks himself up, wipes himself off, and learns a lesson from this blunder much as Spielberg learned from 1941.

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