Rated: R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: December 11, 2015 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation
Maybe a little tedious and confusing at times, but an interesting spin on the backdrop of The Other Guys and the incentive of The Wolf of Wall Street ironically comes from director and co-scenarist Adam McKay (Talledega Nights, Anchorman, Will Ferrell's oft collaborator who'll reunite with Mark Wahlberg this holiday season in "Daddy's Home"). His most serious, though still dripping with wry vitriol, fact-based film to date will latch onto those in certain sales professions, besides investors, bankers, real-estate agents and economic experts, notwithstanding.
The Big Short (covering some three years) cuts through the mortgage crisis, subprime housing market, and credit default swap at the end of Dubya administration making "bank" a four-letter word with some visual, though jittery at times aplomb in adapting Michael Lewis's 2010 book with a commercially camouflaged (even music-video montage slanted) inspiration. An instructive albeit witty warning on celluloid that history harrowingly often repeats itself in a best case scenario.
The housing bubble disaster is hybridized through a quartet of bright enterprising folks who would capitalize against what would drastically douse almost all others, save the slippery fraudulent financiers. Christian Bale's ex-neurologist, very casual, lacking left eye, Asperger-y Dr. Michael Burry (or just Dr. Burry) does much exploring from a small-scale place where he likes to pump up 'heavy metal' volume. Turns out a funky Dr. Burry could get through the Wall Street blinders to understanding what was happening domestically to enable the upshot which would be replicated in time.
Ryan Gosling's Jared Vennet can crank out the numbers with the best of them, debunking and delineating many economic ideas and terms while Steve Carell's barging money manager Mark Baum is contemptuous of avarice, wanton practices on Wall Street. And, in a less part, a fairly unrecognizable (hirsute and bespectacled) Brad Pitt of the already forgotten By The Sea is retired trader Ben Rickett nudged by investors to tread the perilous tides in order to profit off of a prospective major flounder.
Besides the four principals, at least on the distaff side of some solid overall casting (some fictionalized), Oscar winners Marisa Tomei and Melissa Leo appear as an anxious missus and dishonorable credit agency officer, respectively. In the vortex that appears keen on keeping the masses subservient the use of celebrities like Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, even chef Anthony Bourdain in stewing up a metaphor in ancillary arrears accountability turns out to be an impulsive beatitude. Where the lingering effects (from the microcosm of Dr. Burry's neuroses and physical condition) have left hubris and quintessence scarred in this peculiarly dreamy even stimulating galling cinematic expose.
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