If you know that someone was kidnapped a family member and you don’t know what to do in this type of situation, the right answer is to go Liam Neeson on everybody. But in Ridley Scott’s thriller All the Money in the World, don’t ask the old guy who won’t spare a dime.
Billionaire oil tycoon John Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) was one of the richest people in the history of the world. When his 16-year-old grandson Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) gets kidnapped, his kidnappers hold him ransom until his mother Abigail Getty (Michelle Williams) pays them $17 million from her father-in-law. When he refuses to pay the ransom, Gail and Getty’s advisor Fletcher Chase are in a race against time that saves her son’s life.
To be honest, it’s really shocking how All the Money in the World actually made its December release date. Before it came out, Kevin Spacey was originally going to play J. Paul Getty with a lot of makeup to make him look old and the trailer looked promising enough. But with the controversy surrounding Spacey in the multiple charges of sexual assault allegations and also losing respect from him entirely, they decided to cut him out of the movie entirely and replace him with Oscar Winner Christopher Plummer in nine days of reshoots. That was probably the best movie news of the entire year. The end result of All the Money in the World didn’t turn out to be a disappointment in any predicament.
Scott’s style of direction here wasn’t something that bothered me since he was wanting to convey the grim mood throughout the 1970s decade. Also, major props to him completing this movie with the quick reshoots. He might be good at directing Alien movies again, but you don’t mess with an 80-year-old legend like Scott. On the storytelling side that’s based on John Person’s Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty, screenwriter David Scarpa adapted a true story that I never heard about from history. So, with that, I didn’t know what going happen sometimes. Think of the story like Ron Howard’s Ransom, but it takes place in the early 70’s. You’re so invested with how they’re going to get the money and how troubling it is for someone’s son to be in danger for who knows how long.
The fact that Plummer shot his scenes in two weeks sounds impossible to pull off. Just watching the movie now, you can only see him instead of Spacey, which is great. If this still included Spacey, the movie won’t worked in all honesty. Plummer was fantastic, and I was surprised with how many scenes he was in. For 88 years old, he’s still acting his head off and just giving it his all with this quickly finished project.
Michelle Williams just can’t do anything wrong every single time she’s in a movie. The amount of sympathy that’s being shown in her character felt real on the account that she shows the range of emotions shown of her expressions. If anything’s possible, she should really be in talks about getting nominated for Best Actress.
Charlie Plummer (not related to Christopher) is an actor that hasn’t been in a lot of stuff, but he should definitely gonna have a lot of projects lined up in the future. His performance as the kidnapped kid was really convincing in a way that didn’t feel fake.
Mark Wahlberg shouldn’t be overlooked with his performance. There are times where I keep forgetting that he’s a good dramatic actor. That was proven last year, but his performance as Fetcher Chance isn’t a role that won’t be forgotten. This former CIA operative is doing what he can to help Gail out. Though some of the reshoots are a little noticeable because some scenes looked like he’s slimmed down, but that’s wasn’t a huge problem. One scene where he’s confronting Getty near the end and it was one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
The first act was kind of losing me with the fact I couldn’t exactly lean into what’s going on with the time jumps. With that, the film does go for that slow pace for some scenes. And with the situation that’s being shown with Paul’s kidnappers, it didn’t give me enough for making me care about what’s going on or what’s going to happen. There was a certain scene that had me squirming, but other than that, maybe it could’ve spent more time on that aspect.
With all the drama that was surrounding All the Money in the World, it was a huge accomplishment on everyone’s part who’s involved with this. Scott has made the most memorable movie in a past few years. When he steps away from big-budget sci-fi films, he does a competent job with smaller movies like this. Combining his directing style with a tense true story and a terrific cast. But what will it take to see the cut with Spacey? “Nothing.”
All the Money in the World is one of Ridley Scott’s best dramas as this was ultimately challenging in the process and ended up being satisfied with great performances from Williams and Plummer, respectively.