February 10, 2014

Monuments Men: Movie Review

Defined as a war film, Monuments Men has a lot of re-writing to accomplish. As a drama about a group of old men saving works of art, the film still has problems, but great acting and superb dialogue help out with a shallow story.

Monuments Men follows a group of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, as they run around Europe during World War 2, saving artwork that Hitler has stolen. While the actors give their very best, the story doesn't. The film is very jumpy. The audience will be watching one scene, then that scene would end without conclusion. So much is happening that the film persists that one to two minute scenes are long enough to watch and no more is needed. The story is lacking a certain depth and sometimes has useless scenes for character development moments, but even then, the character development is small. The audience is forced to watch a highly talented group of actors, lead by George Clooney, run around Europe either coupled up or alone. This also makes for too much jumping around, as the film has to cut between seven guys, most being in different locations. For two-thirds of the film Matt Damon heads to France and becomes a detective. Writer-director George Clooney can't find out what to do with Damon in these instances. Cate Blanchett appears as a love interest for Damon, but the writers dig themselves into a hole with Damon's character being married and faithful, leading the story nowhere.

While the story falters, the dialogue and characters help enough to be satisfied. The dialogue becomes a great combination of serious and funny. The acting chemistry between each actor is unthinkable. Who knew Jean Dujardin and John Goodman would be a great match up? The best friendship and chemistry in this movie was the most unlikely match up. Meanwhile, Damon and Clooney use their undeniable charm to get along and Bill Murray fits in perfectly with this ragtag group of senior-citizens.

Good Qualities: Well acted and acting chemistry, great dialogue
Bad Qualities: The story jumped around erratically and some scenes felt unnecessary

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