Directed By: Adam McKay
Written By: Adam McKay, Charles Randolph
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt
Sullywood Rating: 8.5/10
When it comes to most heist/money making films, we love them as moviegoers. Ocean’s 11, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Italian Job, the Fast and the Furious series, all of these movies are exciting and a blast to watch. They usually fill you with joy and happiness. That’s because these movies usually have two things in common: 1) A person or group of people who come off as heroes, usually win the money and 2) that group of people usually take that money away from a person we don’t like in the film. The Big Short differs in this aspect due to accomplishing only one of those two things.
If you are confused by what The Big Short is about or even means, you’re not alone. The Big Short is based on the book by the same name that highlights the reasons and events that led us to that wonderful financial crisis back in 2007/2008. I could do no justice as to explain to you why the financial crisis occurred and what caused it. I am by no stretch of the imagination a finance person, nor a mortgage expert. With that, one of the more amusing touches this film presents is that it recognizes that the movie itself would only lose it’s audience trying to explain all of the complicated language and terms.
So what do they do? They get actual celebrities to explain the more complicated aspects to the story. Whether it was Margot Robbie explaining CDO’s from a bathtub or Selena Gomez explaining trading mortgages from a casino blackjack table, I must admit I payed much more attention to them then I ever would Steve Carell trying to teach this idiot about the terms. This was so creative, I loved it.
In fact, not only do the celebrities break the fourth wall when explaining the boring stuff, but most of the characters do as well. Not familiar with the term “breaking the fourth wall?” Think Zack Morris. I bet you instantly knew what I was talking about just from the mere mention of that 90’s icon’s name. Oh you still don’t? Darn. Okay breaking the fourth wall is when a character in film or television directly speaks to the audience. Many ways this film is presented reminds me a lot of The Wolf of Wall Street, without all of the unnecessary and ridiculous drug and alcohol scenes.
Where The Big Short differs when compared to those films I mentioned earlier, is that our heroes or in this case really anti-heroes, are taking money away from the hardworking American people. It’s such a tough position to be in. It’s not their fault that this money will inevitably be taken away from the people anyway, so why not get rich off of it? The film does a great job of showing the conscience of our characters and how each deal with the knowledge of betting against or shorting the housing market, something you learn is never done.
Don’t get me wrong, this movie itself still has that fun vibe you get from most heist type movies. The difference is that for once, nobody in the film is ultimately happy about “winning the lottery.” The final moments of The Big Short were extremely emotional to me. I’m not going to tell you any details, but for a more than a short while, the audience is left reading statements on the screen regarding what happens after the events we just witnessed. We know what happens, we remember those awful years. Having to read those final statements brings the film full circle and it comes off as an effective way to end this story.