‘The Monuments Men’ has an amazing cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Cate Blanchett and more. The great premise about rescuing art from destruction during World War II is both original and inspired. The opening scene of the film where Clooney’s character is pitching his art historian rescue team is brilliant and stirring. As for the rest of the movie, I can’t remember being this disappointed since the Star Wars prequels.
While this movie has some good cinematography and ideas and a couple good scenes, most of the film feels flat and lifeless. The movie never really generates any sense of urgency and fails in its attempts at goofy humor as well. When comedic scenes with Bill Murray and Bob Balaban fall flat you know something is seriously wrong. As you watch this film you are overwhelmed by the feeling that that these talented actors are being wasted as they aren’t given much to do. Matt Damon has the most effective role bringing personality and wit to scenes both humorous and dangerous. And George Clooney does a decent job of getting across to the audience just how important great works of art are to who we are as a society. But the movie’s premise set the stage for scenes of suspense, excitement and fish out of water humor. These never materialize even though the soundtrack would have you think otherwise at times.
The entire time I found myself wishing for a movie that wasn’t there. The first 10 minutes had be ready to go but the movie failed to deliver. In the end, the movie spotlights not only an important historical achievement but a philosophical understanding of how and why art is important to our society. This movie has impressed on me the significance of those ideas and I feel as though I have it to thank for a better perspective on art and society. If you want to know more about this true story you may want to check out this movie but if you are looking for something of storytelling and entertainment value you are in for a disappointment.
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