MV5BMjMxMjk4NTM1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjg0MjQ3MDE@._V1_SX214_What’s it all about?

An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

Based on a true story (though there were actually hundreds of people involved rather than the half a dozen or so portrayed here).

Why did I want to watch it?

We’d seen the trailers in the cinema and had always meant to watch it but decided to wait until it was available via satellite as it looked like it might be good but we weren’t entirely sure. Also Clooney’s stuff is usually worth investigating and the cast was pretty cool. And ultimately this was the Book God’s choice for a Saturday night viewing.

What did I think of it?

Hmm. The Monuments Men is absolutely fine. Not a bad movie, but not a great one either, just fine, an entertaining way to spend an evening but it didn’t really linger. I agree with other reviews which have  suggested that one of the problems with the film is that it isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. Is it a serious war film addressing the behaviour of the Nazi regime and those who collaborated with it in stealing art treasures to fill Hitler’s dreams of a massive museum in his vision for a rebuilt Berlin (and Goering’s own personal greed of course) or is it a bit of a lark, where our heroes try to steal the march on both the retreating Germans and the advancing Russians to get things back to where they belonged?

It tries to be both, which is maybe where it does’t entirely work and is a bit of a let down, especially considering who’s in it. I really like Matt Damon, enjoying almost everything he’s done recently, and Clooney sports very fetching moustache. Hugh Bonneville flies the flag for Blighty and is very likeable. But Cate Blanchett’s character, which seemed so promising (French and distrustful of the motives of our heroes) goes off the rails in a disappointing way (for me anyway) before rallying at the end. The main delight is the interaction between Bill Murray and one of my absolute favourites, Bob Balaban,  ut they are very much (as you might expect) the comic relief.

So like I said, fine, but I wouldn’t seek it out to watch again

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