In “The Monuments Men,” George Clooney plays Frank Stokes, a man who tries to preserve art before Hitler steals it during the course of World War II. He puts together a rag-tag group of guys to help him as they travel across Europe trying to get their hands on sculptures, paintings, and other artistic masterpieces. Clooney directed the film and is joined in the cast by Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett.
The biggest flaw in this film is its incredibly bland script penned by Clooney and Grant Heslov. You read the description, look at the cast and it all looks great on paper, heck it makes a good trailer. However, as a two hour movie, it is stretched paper thin and in some parts, is flat out boring. It is a similar concept to a movie like “Ocean’s Eleven.” A bunch of guys are recruited to go behind enemy lines and do something. However, in Steven Soderbergh’s far better film, there is a rhythm to it. There are different parts of the team doing things at all times and we aren’t given time to be bored. The colors and music in that film were good enough to keep the audience engaged and we stayed engaged until the climax of the movie.
Clooney’s film, on the other hand, crawls to a predictable and anticlimactic finish that no one will remember. I was confused at times as to what exactly they were hunting for during the second half of the film. I know they wanted the “Madonna and Her Child” statue, but why? Someone dies trying to protect it, but does that warrant the whole team trying to find that one item? The score is out of place and overbearing at some points in the film. The cinematography is somewhat decent, at least that was a thought I had during the movie. Yet I can’t, for the life of me, remember what shot I saw that made me think that.
That brings us to the performances. None of the characters stand out and are just plain vanilla across the board. None of them develop or come off as actual people who were actually there. There are also so many that are so dull that I don’t know the names of any of them besides the leader, Stokes, who gets the most screen time. There rest of the people in the film easily could have been played by college film students and it wouldn’t have made a difference.
I could not believe how bad “The Monuments Men” was. Nothing in the movie was special or worth the price of admission. Clooney put a lot of effort into getting this film made and it turned into a vanilla, already forgot about it type of movie. Please don’t support this film and instead read the book it was based on, it has to have more entertainment value that the joke of a movie George Clooney and gang released.