“Monuments Men”: In Review

“Monuments Men”

 Release Date: February 7th 2014

Run-time: 118 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking

Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin

It’s funny how expectations can impact how we feel about certain movies. That is certainly the case for “Monuments Men”, which hit theaters this weekend.  Based on the trailers, I anticipated this movie to be a cross between “Inglorious Bastards” and “National Treasure” and for that that reason it fell flat.

Based on a true story, “Monuments Men” tells the story of a very unusual WWII platoon who took up the mission of rescuing masterpieces from the Nazis before they could be destroyed.  Given the sheer number of WWII movies that are already out there, it was refreshing to see one with a different perspective that focused on lesser known aspect of that period of history. The movie also does a great job of convincing the audience why it is important to make every attempt to save the art from destruction.  Artistic Masterpieces define the times and people that create them. They are vessels that pass culture from generation to generation.  Their loss would have been the world’s loss.

Despite successfully getting the audience invested in the success of the mission, “Monuments Men” isn’t able to make that mission terribly exciting or fun. The movie’s pace is methodical. It tries to be an action-comedy but doesn’t totally succeed at either.

The collection of talent here is very impressive, but one can’t help but think that with a cast this great, the end result should have been a lot more fun.

On my scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst, 5 being the best, and 10 being the worst again, I give “Monuments Men” a 2.5 with an emoticon based sub ranking of “Hooray, Art!”

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