MPAA Rating: R
For language, some violence, disturbing images and brief drug content.
Studio: Columbia Tristar Pictures
Runtime: 132 minutes
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Cast: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg
“We look like you, but we’re not like you,” says J. Paul Getty’s 16-year-old grandson J. Paul III near the top of Ridley Scott’s All The Money in the World.
The kid’s got that right. For one thing, his gazillionaire grandfather was, by his grandson’s reckoning, “the richest man in the history of the world.”
For another, Getty seemed to take comfort from hanging onto all that money rather than spending it.
Okay, the kidnappers demanded $17 million, but hey, that was chump change to grandpa. The senior Getty’s reason for his refusal? There’s a certain icy logic – as well as a certain grasping crassness – about that.
Ridley Scott directs this jaw-dropping story in a handsome film that combines a bit of family history with the world-famous kidnapping drama.
Add to this the replacement of Kevin Spacey by Christopher Plummer as Getty after the film was already in the can and a few weeks before its scheduled release – and you have a film that might be irresistible to filmgoers everywhere.
For the record, I am a major Spacey fan. However I admit Plummer plays Getty as if he’s born to the manor. His Getty – the man who got oil out of the Saudi Arabian desert, then invented the supertanker to ship it – is tall, patrician and imperious, not to mention at once evil and strangely charming. It’s no mean feat. Still, I’d like to see what Spacey did with the role.
But mostly, All the Money in the World is a family drama, a struggle between the man who controlled the fortune and Michelle Williams, brilliant as the boy’s mother Gail, dogged, insistent and willing to do anything to get her son back.
Charlie Plummer (no relation) is excellent as J Paul III, a bit of a blank slate, but already corrupted by the wealth to which he has become accustomed. Almost an afterthought is Mark Wahlberg as Fletcher Chace, Getty’s fixer; a former frogman, Navy SEAL and CIA agent. But though he bustles around, he isn’t given much to do.
All the Money in the World is nicely shot and moves prettily from the opening tracking scene along a Roman street to Saudia Arabia, San Francisco and Calabria where the kidnappers are. But it’s not a pretty story