Ridley Scott’s new film is a lot less impressive. It will probably go on to be really only remembered for being the first one to remove all Kevin Spacey’s scenes and replace them with re-shoots using Christopher Plummer. Plummer plays J. Paul Getty, who by the 1970s is the richest man ever to have lived. In Italy, a group of terrorists take Getty’s grandson (Charlie Plummer) hostage, expecting that his grandfather will pay a ransom, only to find out that he refuses.
The main problem with the film is a lack of focus. It isn’t clear whether the intention is to show the old man’s story, or the story of the kidnap. As a result, we have a lot of back story for the former, most of which isn’t necessary – we get it, he is rich, greedy and ruthless – and really no tension built up round the latter. Even when he eludes his kidnappers for a while, the thrills do not emerge.
The movie is competently enough put together, as you would expect from Scott but it is just relentlessly average. Of the performers, Christopher Plummer shows that he was probably the better choice for the role all along and Michelle Williams is particularly good as the boy’s mother. Charlie Plummer has little to work with and Mark Wahlberg’s fixer character doesn’t ring true.
Rating: 6 out of 10