February 8, 2014

Critical Capsule: The Monuments Men

So, the other night I saw The Monuments Men and today I thought I would share a few words but I really don't want to spend a lot of time on it. You see, while I love the story that is its basis, this movie just feels poorly executed and filled with missed opportunities. Its tone is all over the place, the characters do not have all that much chemistry and it feels disjointed as the characters spend a lot of time going in different directions. It is a movie that could have used a few more passes or actually made the interesting real life story interesting on the big screen.

The story, based on truth, follows a group of aging former soldiers who also happen to be involved in the arts. They are tasked with going into Europe and seeking to protect/retrieve important pieces of art. This did not seem very popular in the face of the huge loss of life that was going on, but art is important. Art speaks to the human condition, to beliefs, to values, to talent and ability. The loss of art can equal the loss of identity. It is a fascinating concept and one that deserves to be explored.

Unfortunately, The Monuments Men, directed by George Clooney who co-wrote the screenplay with Grant Heslov, fails to truly take hold. Our cast gets split up, splintering the narrative, there are conflicting moments of comedy and sincerity, serving to help the disjointed feel, and it never felt very artful. It all felt rather perfunctory, getting from bit to bit and making sure we get pieces of moralizing speeches.

There was a lot of potential here, but I never felt involved. I wanted too, but I just could not get into this. It all was so flat, drab, and inconsistent that I felt pushed away from it. Shame.

Not Recommended.

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