The Big Short is a big mess.
This is what happens when you have a film that gets too big a budget and too much support.
I imagine that when they pitched this movie to the studios and the oodles of A list actors in this movie, they gave the familiar pitch of a film based on a book base upon a true story. This was probably a short time after the success of the Wolf of Wall Street and all parties involved wanted to recapture some of the success of that film, to inhale some of that movie’s fumes. And each time they signed up another well known actor, they did it by dropping the names of each A list actor already signed onto the project, giving false hope of how successful this movie would be. Too bad this film was not a success.
And there are a lot of famous faces in this movie. Off the top of my head, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Marissa Tomei, Amelia Pond from Doctor Who, that weird Jewish guy from New Girl, and a lot of others I’m sure I’m missing. It’s a star studded cast. Too bad the plot is trash.
You can see what they are trying to do; a hard hitting drama conveying the injustice of Wall Street, the American finance industry and of residential mortgage backed securities. Despite the convoluted plot, the main problem is the attempts of the film to explain the financial crisis and CDO’s to the audience. See, The Big Short fails to understand something that The Wolf of Wall Street understood very well: people are idiots. At least most people in the movie theater. We don’t want to think about complex financial instruments or systemic problems in our society, we want to watch an entertaining story. Movies are escapism at its finest and when you try to educate an audience when they seek entertainment, you get a movie like this. This is a movie that does poorly at both educating and entertaining.
Additionally, there are noteworthy appearances by Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez, and Margot Robbie in a bathtub drinking champagne.
Score: 4/10 Only watch if the entertainment value of a movie depends entirely on the big names that are in it. I know there are many who can enjoy a bad movie if you put their favorite actors in it. While not complete trash, this is a movie for them.