Prior to seeing this, I was going back and forth on whether I was interested in the movie or not. First there was a trailer that looked interesting, then there was one with maybe a little too much Wahlberg for my liking, and then of course, the Kevin Spacey drama. Once it was announced that Christopher Plummer was taking on the role, weeks before its release date, I was intrigued. Then, Plummer got a Golden Globe nomination. Now I don’t have any disillusions that the Globes are exactly reputable, I know it is relatively common to garner favor with the HFPA. But the reviews were good, so I had to check out Christopher Plummer’s awards worthy reshoots done in a week.
I had to remind myself as I was watching to try and get swept up in the movie, instead of just being hawkeyed about looking for wide shots of Spacey. But once I settled in, I was able to enjoy myself. Most of the movie feels like a crime thriller, as opposed to a historical biopic. Plummer’s J. Paul Getty was my favorite character, interesting and cold and shrewd, more of an antagonist that the comparatively warm kidnapper Cinquanta, portrayed awesomely by Romain Duris.
Everything ran a little long, with the kidnapping changing hands and locations, culminating in a pretty exciting escape scheme, only for Paul to get roped back in. Once we get to the true climax of the movie, with Mark Wahlberg and a distraught Michelle Williams darting through the streets of a small Italian village, looking for her son while avoiding the kidnappers, I was pretty emotionally exhausted. This is obviously a true story, we know they are re-united, I was ready for everything to be wrapped up nicely.
Overall it was an enjoyable crime drama, causing shock, disgust, and at one point physical discomfort, with the entire audience covering their eyes. It felt real. Other than Mark Wahlberg. 7.5/10