Film review: All The Money In The World (4 out of 5)
It was a case of serendipity as the original choice for one of the main characters in this film, Kevin Spacey, was replaced, following widely broadcast allegations.
Director Ridley Scott was left with one choice really, phone Christopher Plummer who had been in mind originally for the role of billionaire John Paul Getty.
As it turns out, Plummer is quite superb in this intriguing look at the kidnapping of Getty’s grandson John Paul Getty III in the 70s.
‘Based on real events’ the caption reads at the start of the movie and a few liberties are certainly taken with the facts and timings!
What is true, of course, is that 16-year-old Paul was kidnapped in 1973 in Italy and a £17m ransom demanded.
His grandfather, though, decided initially not to stump up any money, leaving the young man captive for months with his abductors getting increasingly desperate and taking some rather extreme measures.
Plummer is undoubtedly the star, with Michelle Williams coming up trumps as young Getty’s mother, Gail Harris, desperate to get her son back but faced with her stubborn former father-in-law.
Charlie Plummer as young Paul also puts in a good performance.
However, in my opinion the weak link of the film is Mark Wahlberg’s character Fletcher Chase, a former CIA agent who has become a ‘fixer’ for Getty senior.
The role doesn’t really bring enough to the movie and while it appears the man actually did exist and worked as an intermediary, the part could have been left out quite easily or reduced.
Of course, if you know the story there won’t be too many surprises (apart from a few factual alterations), but Ridley Scott still manages to ramp up the tension.
However, it’s definitely worth a watch to see Plummer provide a masterclass.
Film details: All The Money In The World (15) 132mins
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg
Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol