Watson Reviews: Billionaire Boys Club

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I was flipping through Video on Demand movies last night and came across a listing for Billionaire Boys Club in the top rentals.  I thought it was odd that a thirty year old NBC miniseries starring Judd Nelson was a top rental, only to learn that there had been a remake this year starring Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), Taran Egerton (Kingsmen), and the disgraced Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects).  I loved that miniseries in the 80s, so the bar was set very high for this talented cast.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

XXX

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WHAT WORKED:

  • Taran Egerton is someone I continue to want to see more from. While the rest of the cast was weak, (surprisingly!), Egerton was the only one who seemed to get the material.  It was not his best work, but I found myself enjoying the film more whenever he was onscreen.

That’s pretty much it.  This was not a good movie.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

  • The major Hollywood production didn’t match a thirty year old miniseries. xxx
  • The film failed to capture the vibe of the 1980s. They just couldn’t make this film feel like it was set in the 80s. Despite the clothing and the Nancy Reagan jokes, it felt like it was set in the present day. Contrast that with The Post and Argo, which were set in the 60s and 70s, and FELT like they were in the era, this movie completely misses the mark.
  • Ansel Elgort brought little to Joe Hunt. When you can’t out act Judd Nelson, who played Hunt’s father in this film in a nod to the original, you know you aren’t bringing it.  Additionally, Emma Roberts was unable to overcome the terrible dialogue she received and brought the film to a stop when during her scenes.
  • Spacey essentially played the same character he portrayed in Baby Driver. It is tricky watching Spacey after his #MeToo moment, but even ignoring that difficulty, this is a phone in performance.  It is the same scenery chewing, smarter than the rest of the crowd delivery that worked in Baby Driver, but which didn’t work here.

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FINAL THOUGHTS:

This story was ripe for remake. The filmmakers could have used the 80s to tell a story about greed and avarice that remains to this day.  What should have been a total layup was a complete airball.  What a waste of a great cast and true crime story.

Overall, I give BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB 3 “Greed is goods” out of 10.

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