You can never have too many World War 2 movies, and one that focuses on the greatest art heist in history is not one to be ignored, regardless of what critics may say.
During the Second World War, the Nazis stole countless art pieces and hid them away, and it was up to a special unit comprised of art scholars, historians, curators and architects tasked by President Roosevelt to retrieve the stolen treasures and return to the rightful owners. Simple as it sounds, the only snag was the stolen art pieces were behind enemy lines, in Germany.
The Monuments Men, a light war comedy drama doesn’t grab your interest from the get go, it took me nearly 30 minutes to flow with the story, and it shouldn’t take that long. The only thing that kept me going was the cast, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban and Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, awesome, right? While the movie did not have the best script, written by George Clooney (also director) and Grant Eslov, it definitely had its moments.
It began with the first casualty, it was sudden (sort of), and like the other members of the platoon, it dawns on you that this isn’t some heist movie but it’s a war drama with a twist. But, as quick as it hits you, it fades again, and you have to wait for the next casualty for you to feel it again.
Second is the art, which is the movie is centralized on. Their depiction shone bright, and brought beauty to a story that didn’t quite have a specific tone. And finally, the Russians. You would think that a story where the Nazi steal uncountable artworks and intend destroying them as their empire’s crumbling; would be the only villains, the answer is no! Well, kind of. The race to get the art pieces surprisingly makes this movie fun to watch.
The Monuments Men seems like it was made with good intentions but poorly executed; however it has become an average World War 2 drama with an impressive cast. Do I love it, obviously not, but would I recommend it? Yes, I would because it’s a fun experience, with a very important message, which is on the importance of culture, “because when a people’s culture is destroyed, and they cease to exist”.
Frank Stokes: Yesterday we fond 16,000 pieces of art in a copper mine. It seems the Germans take better care of their art than people.
Opened: February 14, 2014 Runtime: 1 hr. 58 min. Genre: War, Drama, Comedy Rated: 12