13/02/2014

The Monuments Men

Everyone loves George Clooney. He may have waved goodbye to his ER era Caesar cut and have a stream of girlfriends blatantly contracted to be on his arm during every awards season, but when it comes to famous people he's definitely one of the best. And that's why it pains me to admit to myself and to you that this comedy/drama focusing on the untold story of a group of men and one token woman trying to retain art stolen by the Nazis is a big, dull dud. 

Beginning with a classic "We're getting the gang back together" montage, a moustachioed American, a young American, a fat American, a funny American, a small American, an English man and a handsome Frenchie make up the group of misfits and are so busy making cracks about other countries and speaking French badly they never actually say why they believe art is worth dying for. Are they just big fans or, like their German counterparts, are they simply following orders? The film is so eager to set up the heist it doesn't bother telling us anything about the characters and the incredible cast are simply coasting. 

Tonally it's all over the place and jumps from Nazi-based awfulness like stumbling upon a barrel of gold ripped from the mouths of Jews to an episode of 'Allo 'Allo! A touch of comedy amongst sterner stuff is fine but it just doesn't flow and with a lack of drama pulling the film forward its two-hour running time feels like forever. 

It's not terrible but feels like a massively missed opportunity to tell a really great story about the people who died so we could look at works of art. Sorry, but just OK is not acceptable for a film starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bill Murray.