“The Big Short” has Adam McKay making that Capra move from timely comedies to entertaining exposes of society’s evils. Mixing a docudrama feel with cameos from Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie allows the film to do something important. It scales down the Housing Crash of 2008 into terms that the mass audience should finally understand 7 years later. While you were ignoring the markets or watching “Slumdog Millionaire”, the rich and knowledgeable were taking advantage of you. What are you going to do about it?
Watching the film and knowing humanity, the odds are nothing. Whether you’re a Capitalist or Socialist you’re driven by material need to define status. You made it if you have a house, a car and can provide for your family. Does this seem like a recurring theme this year? Well, it should. So much of our cinema has been dedicated to the idea that we have to break free of consumerism. But, what will it take? Destroying the banks and letting the economy fall like Greece?
Fun fact: Adam McKay was pressured into making Anchorman 2 to get “The Big Short” greenlit by Paramount. I bring that up to frame the uphill battle this film faced before hitting theaters. Much has been made of its comparisons to “Margin Call” and “The Wolf of Wall Street”, but it’s a different movie. “The Big Short” wants your righteous anger mixed together with information. The barn door has been open for years, but what are you going to do as a voter to fix the situation?
The film works as a complete mess of high ideas and building maps into shady areas. No one in this film is a good guy. They’re either opportunists or screw-ups that didn’t catch on quick enough. Kudos to McKay for not letting anyone become a hero in this story. There are no heroes on Wall Street.
RELEASE DATE: 12/23/2015