From the director of Anchorman comes this Oscernated comedy/drama about the 2008 financial crisis. Let’s call it Bankerman.
The Big Short is executed with all the subtlety and characterisation you can expect from the director of Step Brothers. It does serve as an informative and engaging breakdown of the financial crisis, but insists on going out of its way to show boobs and make jokes about Chinese people.
It has all the shouty gaudiness of Wall Street, but none of the human drama. The characters are massively underdeveloped, even though they’re based on real people. Uniformly unpleasant, they spend the film trying to make money from the impending collapse of the housing market without bothering to warn anyone. And while the third act tacks on a moral argument about the banking sector neglecting people, the film is guilty of exactly that.
They are well played by Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling (spray-painted to look like Ryan Reynolds) and Steve Carrell, who looks like Donald Trump in a wig. And by that I mean a different wig. But they’re let down by the largely unfunny script, which swears its way towards inevitability. The direction is equally ill-disciplined, and not nearly as clever as it thinks it is. You know there’s a problem when Adam McKay is nominated for an Oscar but Creed‘s Ryan Coogler is ignored.
For what it’s worth, everyone around me seemed to be enjoying this movie. But the cinema was in Canary Wharf, one of London’s major financial districts. Make of that what you will.