#REVIEW: “THE BIG SHORT”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
A Film about Politics and Finance would on-paper appear to be out-of-character for Writer/Director Adam McKay when reflecting upon his career. However, his comedic expertise brings to the Movie makes even a horrible real-life market crash that much more uplifting in his latest effort, The Big Short.
It all starts off with Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) breaking the fourth wall and telling the audience what is about to happen throughout the Movie, as if then shifts its attention to Michael Burry (Christian Bale). Michael is the head of investments at a giant firm and stumbles across a massive problem in the housing market, something that if he is right will make triple or more back on investment. However, this is something particularly terrifying to his investors because if he is not right, it will bankrupt the entire company. As well, an occurrence like the housing market crash in the mid-2000s never occurred before in US history, so betting against the housing market did not seem like a smart play. However continuing to move forward in the story, the audience is now introduced Mark Baum (Steve Carell), a Wall Street hothead type. He works within a Wall Street company and makes his own trades and deals on his own accord and gets approached by Jared to buy into Michael’s insane proposal. After some deep thought, Mark gets on-board with the crazy idea on the odd chance it pays-off to stick it to the big banks and government.
What makes The Big Short so great, is that just when it’s about to lose its audience’s attention in an information dump that serves a very important purpose – it breaks down that fourth wall. Celebrity cameos to reiterate to the viewer what they were already told by an attractive A-list Celebrity to drive the point home, i.e. Margot Robbie drinking a glass of champagne while taking-in a bubble bath. As well, the Movie excels on the strength of its three stars and their performances. Ryan Gosling, who is almost unrecognizable with his black dyed hair, is incredible in his performance and delivers a strong performance backed up with some great comedic chops. Christian Bale as well, who also looks like Bruce Wayne from Batman Begins, delivers a fantastic performance with a heavy dose of comedic opportunities that he delivers on, even by the work environment he chooses to work in, it is hard not to crack a smile. Moreover, Steve Carell who is usually seen more as a comedic type until recent years, delivers yet again in a very serious role, proving once again he has exactly what it takes to be right in the mix with Hollywood’s heavyweights. Brad Pitt who is also in the Movie for no more than 20 minutes, delivers a solid performance also.
Overall, The Big Short is a fantastic Film that gives us new perspective on the tragic occurrences of the early 2000s within the housing market. McKay raises his already high bar by doing this in an innovative comedic way, yet still preserving a serious tone as The Big Short serves as an educational cautionary tale. A must-see this holiday season.
Paramount Pictures Canada release THE BIG SHORT in theatres on Wednesday, December 23, 2015.