This film is a testament to Ridley Scott as a director, with him replacing an actor and reshooting all his scenes only months before release. Whats more these scenes are hard to tell apart from the rest of the feature, blending in well; in contrast to other recent releases such as Justice League. Christopher Plummer portrays the role with equal parts ruthlessness, and a sheer sense of greed that perfectly encapsulates the character of J. Paul Getty. The film itself centers around the kidnapping of Getty’s grandson Paul, (played here by Charlie Plummer), and Getty’s refusal to pay any money in random. At its core, this film is defined by 3 key performances, Christopher Plummer’s Getty, who is tremendous throughout. With the performances of Michelle Williams, (Gail Harris), and Mark Wahlberg, (Fletcher Chase) also being critical. This is where the film fumbles, Michelle Willimas is perfect with her performance of a mother in crisis, trying to get her son back being both believable and the emotional backbone of the film. For anyone who has read any of my other reviews, they will know that so far this year I ‘ve been a big Michelle Willimas fan, with her role in the greatest showman being one of the best and most believable parts of that movie. However, it is the third key role that falls flat and that is Mark Wahlberg’s Chase Fletcher, who feels bland and uninteresting, really his role could be played by anyone. The strange standout social relationship of this film is between Charlie Plummers Paul and Romain Duris as Cinquanta, who are both excellent characters in their own right, but together they’re somewhat of an endearing pair. Duris’s Cinquanta is a sort of father figure to Paul and provides an interesting contrast to the usual stereotype of the despicable criminal. Through the character of Cinquanta, Scott explores the idea of a family with this man who is a criminal, who is one of the men who abducts Paul ultimately caring about him just as much as his mum. Furthermore, Cinquanta, when juxtaposed with Mr. Getty, is shown to be far more caring towards Paul than his own grandfather. This portrays one of the victims of the film as ultimately one of the antagonists. The negatives for this film really come from pacing, the film is paced badly, with the second act feeling dull and ultimately unnecessary, with too much time spent looking at the Chase, Getty relationship which ultimately goes nowhere. There were points in this film where it lost my interest to such a point, I debated the merits of going to the toilet for a prolonged break. Also, there were subplots with characters such as Pauls father which again feel like they go nowhere, with his character going through big changes in the first act without much explanation. The film could have benefited greatly from focusing more on Michelle Willimas’s character, and ditching Wahlberg outright. This is a gripping story sadly it’s just too long and not interesting enough, though I did appreciate the unusual captive captor relationship.
Reviewed by Luke