No more than 2 months ago, All The Money In The World re-shot many of its scenes with a new actor playing the richest man in the world JP Getty. An idea that comes across as simply astounding. And the fact that this may have made the film better even more so. Yet it doesn’t mean that the film feels anymore worthwhile after the 2 hours 20 it takes to watch than it would have done beforehand.
John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) is the grandson of the world’s richest man, so when he is kidnapped, it is seen by many as a huge event, and one that the kidnappers value at $17 million for his safe return. However, the original JP Getty (Christopher Plummer) himself, doesn’t see it as quite so important, refusing to pay anything towards the release of his eldest grandchild.
The film has been devoured by controversy, removing the shamed Kevin Spacey from of the film completely (which admirably was only noticeable once). His replacement, Christopher Plummer, may have even been better as he becomes a real dark highlight across the features runtime.
These highlights are actually quite rare, however, with the film dragging out an essentially bare-bones plotline. Whether it’s all true or not is immaterial, any film should not resist in the way All The Money In The World Does. However hard the actors try, there is very little they could have done to lift the film from it’s low and dark demeanour.
This works well for the visuals, where at times the camera stills look stunning, but Ridley Scott has not managed to make a kidnapping film even remotely compelling, something that hinders it massively across the board.
It’s a fascinating story, that Scott has tried to get behind and understand but has largely failed to interpret. Christopher Plummer is a very impressive stand-in, and Michelle Williams proves again how she doesn’t contain a bad performance within her. However, the film does not work on an emotional or cinematic level, leaving it to become painfully elongated.