Monuments Men, The (2014)

Director:  George Clooney
Cast:  George ClooneyMatt DamonBill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin
Plot:  An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

Genre:  Action / Biography / Drama
Awards:  -
Runtime:  118min
Rating:  PG for some images of war violence and historical smoking.

(Guest Review by Christian O. Acevedo)

“If you destroy their achievements, their history, it’s like they never existed.”

The Monuments Men, based on a non-fiction novel written by Robert M. Edsel, is decked with top Hollywood stars that makes a decent effort in telling the story of a team of art oddities and their efforts to save a millennia worth of precious masterpieces such as sculptures, books, paintings and monuments.

Adorned by the charm of George Clooney, wittiness of Bill Murray, and the caring charisma of John Goodman, this piece successfully submerges the audience into the journey of these men’s struggles to save the greatest achievements of mankind.

However, with all the abundant production quality that this film brings, Clooney’s effort to bring this story to life can be both frustrating and unsettling.  Due to hefty amount of leading characters, the story did not fully indulged us in all of them enough to care much about them. We also come to find out that the action genre does not fit very smoothly with fine arts. Subsequently, the “Disney” treatment of the “feel good” approach mixed with drama is what keeps us in disarray throughout the story.

This story is certainly one that has to be told for the younger generations to appreciate fine art a bit more and also understand why it was important to fight for these treasures during the world’s darkest hour.  But the film itself although entertaining and educational in its own right, does not leave you with a full appreciation of the actual “Monuments Men” that served and died while protecting these pieces of art.

Verdict:  Great performance by cast members, but story was not fully developed for the characters, and plot could have used a bit more grittiness and realism to convey the story for this action drama film.

Rating:  3 stars

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