With big time blockbusters dominating headlines this time of year, ‘The Big Short’ might be flying under the radar just a bit despite the insanely stacked cast. There’s no Han Solo, Katniss Everdeen, or any chipmunks named Alvin, but the aforementioned crew can be likened to a starting lineup of the NBA Western Conference on any given year. Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt lead the way for a story about the housing bubble of the 00’s. One of the most intriguing things about this picture is that it’s directed by Adam McKay, yes, the same Adam McKay who made Anchorman and Step Brothers. And while this film is funny at times, it’s more of a drama and a far cry from his works of the past. Well?
Simply put, the fact that that guy made this movie is beyond impressive. McKay, like the cast, crushes it and delivers an entertaining film about an interesting subject matter that could however, become extremely boring and confusing if not done properly (which can happen easily). So as I mentioned it’s about the housing bubble, basically a bunch of different groups of people see the way the market is trending and bet against it while exploring why and how this momentous crash came about.
The good: It simplifies the material in a refreshing and often times hysterical way. Sometimes it does get confusing but the thing to remember is that’s the whole point! Nobody knew what the fudge was going on and with all this crazy lingo and bullshit it’s only appropriate for you to sit there scratching your head, that’s kind of a big part of the message. The cast is just as good as it sounds. If you watch Entourage, think Steve Carrell as a less flashy, average Joe- Ari Gold and Ryan Gosling as a Wall Street Scotty Lavin. The cast besides the heavy hitters also knock it out of the park and complement the all stars perfectly. It’s funny and entertaining, while being informative and thought provoking, which is a rare combination of qualities to find all packaged together. It’s hip and at times sexy and while not as raunchy as “The Wolf Of Wall Street”, it does reference trendy stars and places like _______ and Nobu (sorry, can’t give away the cameos). The reason i compare it to Wolf is because they both are wild and insane depictions of things that actually happened in real life, both dealing with money and large scale institutions. I laughed, I was entertained, and I feel more enlightened about a major aspect of American history, what more could you ask for?
The bad: Not much. While it was funny at times there were never any big time extended knee slappers. This is nitpicking because it deals with a serious subject and is a drama after all but if they were adding comedy to it anyways they could have had a scene that makes you lose it. Also, while it was dramatic and thought provoking, it just wasn’t as “strong” as it could have been. Again, this is nitpicking as at the end of it (and during it) you find yourself saying “holy shit” but not like, “HOLY SHIT!!!”. Get it?
The verdict: Great movie. As I mentioned before I laughed, learned, and was entertained for over two hours. Distinguished performances all around make this one a can’t miss. There’s a strong message here, watch and learn.
Grade: Somewhere between a B+ and A-, I can’t decide. Fuck it, I’m in the holiday spirit.