Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer, Olivia Grant (132 min – Rated M).
Adapted from the true story of egotistic billionaire J.P Getty and the refused ransom involving his kidnapped grandson. Taken by amateur criminals, they eventually have to plan their moves more ideally as things negatively progress for the teenager’s life.
Jolting thrills and simmering atmosphere is created when little seems to be happening. Michelle Williams is astonishing as the desperate but committed mother. Now separated but once married into the Getty clan, she is determined to use any link to the family for assistance even with little help from former father in-law.
Troubleshooter, standover man and top line business negotiator Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg, filtering his best dramatic poise while redeeming himself after Daddy’s Home 2) is assigned by senior Getty to travel with mum Gail. Chase is contracted to oversee a possible arrangement or at least scope out if the kidnappers are lightweights and not serious with their threats.
Incredible tension builds to piercing moments of shock and disbelief to how things go down. Insights into J.P Getty are harsh, but who knows exactly how much of the details are true. That said, bravo to the legendary Christopher Plummer (The Insider, The Boss’s Wife, The Sound of Music) who was brought in as an emergency off the bench when the highly publicised dramas against Kevin Spacey came into fruition. Plummer looks more natural than what a makeup-heavy Spacey appeared in the early trailer before replacement.
The Golden Globe nominated performance is solid, riveting in dark humour and bitter barbs. Equally impressive is director Ridley Scott who managed to pull off the feat of actors recreating scenes with full crew to film right up until studio deadline. Great to see Timothy Hutton (Beautiful Girls, Turk 182) on screen but it is Michelle Williams who etches out an extraordinary emotional role.
Shane A. Bassett