The Monuments Men is about “An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.” It is directed and written by George Clooney. Clooney is also in the cast and with him stars Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban and more.
On IMDb it’s called a war drama while Wikipedia has this confused perspective that the film is a comedy-drama war film. It is based off a non-fiction book called “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,” by Robert M. Edsel.
A friend I trust told me that this movie was nothing to write home about but didn’t suck too horribly either.
Considering what the movie subject is about and when it takes place, I was expecting a little bit more excitement threaded into the story about this special squad of men. Most of Hollywood loves a good war movie and injects the action and thrills as quickly as possible.
But this film is a bit different. But not different enough to stand out as a great movie.
The opening act is, as far as I can tell, fairly well off balanced.
We aren’t given a ton of info about all the main characters that we are introduced to and there are many. So their histories, the things that make them tick are seriously glossed over.
The energy of the opening act is pretty lackluster and I feel like the momentum of the film is banked on the slew of actors and their sheer name recognition.
Once the opening act closed, we hit the middle act and things start to actually develop. But it took an hour to stir our blood from any kind of action or exciting development when the first gunshot rings out and actually scares the crap out of the viewer.
After that, the story momentum does pick up and becomes the engaging tale we are hoping for. But the back half of the movie does not make up for the painfully slow start.
In the end we walk away from a good tale, but to be honest, rather than a gripping documentary-like war drama this could be, it’s a tale peppered with the humor styles of each actor. Most of which, aren’t that well-placed or effectively timed. They’re cute, but the moments stand out.
Then again, maybe they stand out because of the sludge pace of the story.
The funniest bit of the movie came when a character steps on a land mine:
“I stepped on a mine.”
“Why did you do that?”
“It was a slow day.”
If you like any of the cast, you should probably like the movie. But don’t expect anything new out of them. They are who they are.
Overall, I’m giving The Monuments Men a six out of ten.