The Big Short movie poster
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The Big Short
The Big Short movie poster

The Big Short Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

The Big Short is like an educational tutorial that no one wants to watch, only with big-name actors. Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt headline this sort-of-drama-sort-of-comedy-sort-of-infomercial based on the book by the same guy who wrote Moneyball, but a movie about the complexities of the financial markets that caused the world economy to collapse in 2008 is about as fun to watch as you’d expect from a movie about the complexities of the financial markets that caused the world economy to collapse in 2008.

Director and co-writer Adam McKay does his best to dumb down the many financial terms and systems at play (and make them fun to watch), going so far as to use Margot Robbie naked in a bubble bath and Selena Gomez at a poker table to explain what’s happening in layman’s terms, but unfortunately the only good parts of the movie are Margot Robbie naked in a bubble bath and Selena Gomez at a poker table.

Admittedly, Anthony Bourdain’s scene is even better, but don’t tell Margot Robbie or Selena Gomez.

The Big Short isn’t wholly uninteresting--after all, I aced every Finance, Economics and Accounting class in school and find the subject matter mildly useful and certainly disturbing--but it is far from entertaining, even though it thinks it is.

The movie is a parade of obnoxiously selfish characters who are less developed individuals and more vessels for McKay to preach his message. The message is sound--that Wall Street fucked the world over and continues to fuck the world over--but the material beats you over the head with it so blatantly and without nuance--the characters practically shout “this is wrong” over and over again--you just won’t care.

The Big Short isn’t without its moments--there are some funny lines and as the film races toward its inevitable conclusion, it holds your attention well enough--but the film lacks any sense of synergy.

Unless you’re well versed in financial markets and find them fascinating enough to watch a movie about them, you’ll find The Big Short to be a very poor investment.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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