The Monuments Men (2014)

The Monuments Men poster.jpgThe Art of War

An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

George Clooney is a man with noble intentions. Instead of focusing on the typical fighting aspects you see in most war films, he casts the focus on a lesser known side of the Second World War which hasn't had as wide a coverage. It brings up the question as to whether a piece of art is worth a human life, and follows that up with the idea that losing a piece of art is akin to losing a piece of civilization and culture, losing one of humanities greatest achievements, who they were, are and will be. It's a good topic to base a film around, sadly, it isn't explored well and not nearly with enough depth, instead choosing to let Clooney hammer the same point over the course of the film.

To his credit, Clooney has assembled a brilliant and talented cast, which makes it all the more a shame that they're wasted on such thinly sketched characters. A major mistake that Clooney and his screenwriting partner Grant Heslov make is mistaking conversations about the characters families for any actual development and depth, leaving these characters as rather forgettable and the audience without any real reason to root for them.

Saving Private Rembrandt

Clooney attempts to balance the horrors of war with a light hearted sense of humor, which is an understandable decision, to prevent the film from being an entirely grim affair, but it just does not work. The humor feels forced and little more than an afterthought, leaving the scenes which focus on the comedic aspect to jar with the overall picture.

The dialogue is exceptionally poor, full of stilted dialogue, long pauses and an over-abundance of forced laughter. One notable scene features a French contact saying little other than a repeat of Matt Damon's dialogue.

The Monuments Men is an interesting story that holds a battlefield full of potential, with the added incentive of one of the years best ensemble casts, but unfortunately got adapted into something dull and easily forgettable.