The Big Short is a 2015 American drama film directed and co-written by Adam McKay. It is based on the non-fiction 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis about the financial crisis of 2007–2008, which was triggered by the United States housing bubble. The film stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures, the film began a limited release in the U.S. on December 11, 2015, followed by a wide release on December 23, 2015. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Bale, and won in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay.
The film is noted for the unconventional techniques it employs to explain complex financial instruments: among others, cameo appearances by Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez, and Richard Thaler, who explain concepts such as subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations directly to the audience. Several other actors also break the fourth wall, most frequently Gosling, who serves as the narrator.
This movie could’ve had every potential to be really good but nope, this movie is the literal example of diet Aaron Sorkin, this movie is literally what Aaron Sorkin’s writing would be like if it was half of what he’d usually be writing, it’s like Adam McKay saw The Social Network and Steve Jobs and thought “gee, I can write this kind of shit in half of the time with a noticeable lack of effort.”
Because let me tell you folks, it shows. The cast tries their hardest to work well with the material given with them but it doesn’t help when you have no idea what the hell is going on because the film has no sense of trying to simplify this for the general audience like The Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs did in the past.
Not only that but there’s never any sense to entrust these people because you never feel for them at all, none of these people even share a scene together with the exception of Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling but other than that, Brad Pitt and Christian Bale never meet up with each other, Gosling and Carell never meet Pitt or Bale, none of these people ever meet up although the trailers and marketing indicate there will be a least one scene with the main characters interacting but nope, none of that.
But the other problem is that the story, like I said, is so written as a faux Aaron Sorkin like movie that it can’t simplify something as complex as the housing market and the financial aspect of it and think that it’s only way of doing so is by having pointless celebrity cameos thrown in here. You need to do something like what Ocean’s Eleven and Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs do by explaining the situation in a way that’s interesting and the audience can get invested in the story. But this movie is just like “yeah, whatever, we’re not gonna bother simplifying this for you because fuck you.” That’s exactly what they are doing.
The Big Short should’ve been a better movie than it ended up being, it fails miserably on so many levels, the whole movie is a diet Aaron Sorkin written film with great actors being wasted on a mediocre script, lackluster thrills, a boring and uninvesting story, it’s a mess of a film.
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