This weekend saw the premiere
of The Monuments Men that included a well-known ensemble: George
Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murphy, and Cate Blanchett.
The film is based on a true story, but according to Hollywood’s standards, one can only guess what was dramatized to make the film seem better.
Lt. Frank Stokes (Clooney) asks then President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Who will make sure that the statue of David is still standing and the Mona Lisa is still smiling?” This will be the point where anyone in the audience can point out, “Why you and your World War II Ocean’s Eleven-type of guys?”
Do not be confused by the Ocean’s Eleven reference as the only thing that might remotely resemble that film is the fact that Clooney and Damon have teamed up once again to work on the film.
Although the film did move along smoothly at a slow pace with the occasional quick wit jokes here and there, it was far from being an Ocean’s Eleven of 1943.
Moving along, Stokes obviously convinces Roosevelt of establishing the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program because if he had not, then what was the point of moving on with the film?
At the closing stages of World War II, Stokes, along with Lt. James Granger (Damon), is tasked to recruit a group of men to track down the priceless artworks and return them to their rightful owners.
The recruits consist of museum directors, curators and art historians who become known as the Monuments Men.
Along with the help of Claire Simone (Blanchett), the Monuments Men have successes and failures in recovering the artworks they are searching for.
Clooney did double duty as he directed and starred in the film, not to forget to mention that he also co-wrote the script. His work behind the camera was more tolerable than compared to his acting, as Clooney has been known for giving better performances on-screen.
Every actor’s performance in the film was fine and none overshadowed the other for screen time. This is a noteworthy as the audience gets to understand each character’s story better.
What made this film different from any other World War II film is that it did not precisely focus on the war. No, this is not an action film with blood and deaths, not to say that the film does not have that. The film focused more on finding these artworks and getting out safely.
The movie was only average and does not seem like a great fit for the younger crowds. The film had a high-cost budget and it is very unlikely to make that money back.
It was mildly entertaining and the way movie tickets are priced at this time, it is not really worth going to go see in theater. Monuments Men is a film best reserved for Redbox.