The Monuments Men—Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Hugh Bonneville.
5.5 out of 10
By Jeffrey James K. Erdely ’14
Tensions are usually high when one goes to see a WWII themed movie, and The Monuments Men was no different.
Unfortunately, the movie delivered too much to the expectations of a happy ending.
The movie begins with the assembly of the Monuments Men, a special unit in WWII comprised of artists, architects, and collectors from America, Britain and France.
The Monuments Men accompany Allied forces and retake Axis occupied land in Europe, attempting to recover art stolen by Nazi’s and return the pieces to their rightful owners before they are destroyed
The entire tone of the movie seemed to play into the stereotypes of the era.
The French were promiscuous and untrusting, the Germans ruthless and hateful, the Russians mean and unyielding—even the physicality of the characters was stereotypical.
The tone of the movie was ridiculously upbeat for a war film with the deaths of Jean Dujardin, played by Jean Claude Clermont, and Hugh Bonneville, played by Donald Jeffries, being some of the most predictable death scenes in film history.
Cate Blanchett’s performance as Claire Simmons was a redemption for the movie, but in the end her character also succumbed to the generational stereotypes.
In an unnecessary scene between Claire Simmons and James Granger, played by Matt Damon, we are left with mixed feelings.
Granger fends off the physical advances of Simmons and remains faithful to his family at home, for which we breathe a sigh of relief. But we also question the probability of such a character like Granger, who seemingly has no flaws.
The entire movie spends its time glorifying what these men did in such a romantic fashion that the audience has a hard time swallowing it all.
The movie is based off of the novel of the same name by Robert M. Edsel, so we are left to wonder what is fact and what is Hollywood.
The movie manages to be very informative and historically accurate.
The tone of the film skews the audiences perspective and there is a great deal of bias present, which distracts from some of the strengths such as the all-star cast and several stellar performances, Blanchett standing out the most.
The movie caters to the idea of a happy ending too much, leaving it to be tied up in a neat bow and served to perhaps younger audiences than the PG-13 movie intended.