All The Money In The WorldStory
: 16-year-old John Paul Getty III is kidnapped. His mother desperately tries to convince his billionaire grandfather to pay the ransom.
All The Money In The WorldReview
: This crime drama by Ridley Scott is based on the real-life kidnapping of John Paul Getty III. The production experienced its own behind-the-scenes drama following allegations of sexual harassment against Kevin Spacey who had finished shooting all his scenes as Jean Paul Getty. Spacey was replaced by Christopher Plummer in the title role - a recasting that works brilliantly in the film's favor. Not only is it great to have a veteran actor who actually looks the part of an old, and tired billionaire, but Christopher Plummer is so gripping every time he appears on screen that he erases any memory of Spacey's involvement with the project.
In other performances, Michelle Williams gives another strong turn as the desperate and distraught mother Abigail Harris, and Romain Duris is nuanced as Cinquanta - one of the kidnappers. On the other hand, Charlie Plummer as the kidnapped son is unable to evoke the emotion required to care enough about him, while Mark Wahlberg seems to be just playing himself. Italy turns out to be an intriguing character in itself, captured in all its 70's glory, filled with enough pasta, art, paparazzi, and scooters to transport you into that era.
Greed, frugality, and the strange nature of power are the core themes explored in this film and Ridley Scott takes his time to address the question of what really holds us hostage. He chooses a disjointed narrative style that lacks a sense of urgency warranted by a real-life story that was stranger than fiction. This results in an uneven pacing and tonality, which doesn't take away from the fact that this is an engrossing series of events, but it might be a detrimental factor to those expecting a taut thriller. The main reason to watch 'All the Money in the World' is the last-minute character revamp by Christopher Plummer that makes this film worthwhile.