All the Money in the World Biography

Blu-ray Review: ‘All the Money in the World’ is a Thriller Worth Every Penny

April 30, 2018Ben MK

The phone rings. A voice on the other end informs you that your child has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. It's every parent's worst nightmare, and in 1973 it became a reality for Abigail Harris, whose 16-year-old son, Paul, was snatched from the streets of Rome. But Paul was no ordinary teenager; no, he was also the grandson of the richest man in the history of the world — oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.

Starring opposite Christopher Plummer as Getty is Charlie Plummer (no relation) as his grandson, Paul, Michelle Williams as his former daughter-in-law, Abigail, and Mark Wahlberg as Fletcher Chace, Getty Sr.'s personal "man of risk," who's responsible for everything from making deals in Saudi Arabia on his boss' behalf, to overseeing the personal security system at the Getty estate. An ex-CIA agent, Fletcher puts his special set of skills to good use when he's tasked with helping Abigail and the Italian authorities track down her son and rescue him from his captors.

The movie follows a fairly standard kidnap thriller trajectory, but despite the serious subject matter, director Ridley Scott and screenwriter David Scarpa still manage to inject some wry humor into the proceedings. Most of it comes from Wahlberg's character, who isn't afraid to speak his mind or make an offhanded remark when the feeling strikes him. However, Plummer manages to get in a few great moments as well, such as in one scene in which he dictates for his young grandson a blunt response to a letter from someone pleading for financial assistance.

Keen-eyed viewers may notice, however, that fleeting traces of the controversy that prompted the film's last-minute reshoots appear to still exist, the most notable of which involves a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of a bust of J. Paul Getty that vaguely resembles actor Kevin Spacey from afar. Still, you have to hand it to all the cast and crew. Not only have they succeeded in salvaging what could have been a box office disaster; they've made All the Money in the World a thriller truly deserving of your hard-earned dollar.

All the Money in the World may be lacking a 4K release at the moment, but, thankfully, that's not so much an issue, as the quality of this Blu-ray presentation more than makes up for the omission. Colors are robust, black levels are inky and fine details are noticeable throughout, from the period production and costume design, to the rough stone and dirt textures of the kidnappers' hideout, to the architecture of Rome and its cobblestone streets. Add to that the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix, which fills the air with the roar of motorcycles, the clickety-clack of typewriters and the chirping of birds and insects, and the result is worth every penny.

Sony's single-disc Blu-ray release includes an UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scenes (6:52) - Eight scenes ("Overdue Bill," "Load the Car for Rome," "Welcome to Your New Apartment," "It's All Business to Them," "He Said He was Safe," "What Do You Want?," "No Mail Today, Signora" and "No Petrol").
  • Ridley Scott: Crafting a Historical Thriller (9:11) - A look at the cast and crew's experiences working with Scott, filming in Rome, England and Jordan, the costumes, the score and the cinematography.
  • Hostages to Fortune: The Cast (9:32) - A look at the performances of Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer, Charlie Plummer and Romain Duris.
  • Recast, Reshot, Reclaimed (4:55) - The cast and crew talk about returning to the production to reshoot 22 scenes in 8 days roughly a month before the film's release.

All the Money in the World is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of April 10th, 2018. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, and English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 12 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on December 22nd, 2017.

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