The Monuments Men: Fresh war film

A different look at WWII; saving private collection

A SCENE FROM THE MONUMENT MEN FEATURING Bill Murray as Sgt. Richard Campbell.

The Monuments Men is based upon book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel. Towards the end of World War II, a group of seven men who have extensive knowledge of art and its history, are gathered together to assist in the retrieval of art work stolen by Nazi Germany. The group of men, who are considerably older than typical soldiers, endure the struggles of combat and face the tough challenge of locating the stolen art pieces and returning them to their original owners.

Olivia’s View

The Monuments Men left me with mixed feelings. Personally, I don’t find history interesting in the slightest. So going into The Monuments Men, I was expecting to be disappointed, but thought that it was worth a try because it was a different look at World War II. Even though the premise is something that I generally don’t enjoy, I left the theater somewhat intrigued about the “real” Monuments Men. I also thought that the message behind the film was important and should be appreciated.

Compared with other war films that I’ve seen, The Monuments Men showed World War II in a unique light. The movie exposed that there were concerns during the war other than combat. The wide variety of art shown throughout the film was incredible, and eye opening. Like most others, I hadn’t even thought about the art that was in danger of being destroyed during the war.

Aside from my history bias, the plot really dragged along at points. There was a lot of explaining that needed to be done in order for the audience to understand what the purpose of the Monuments Men were. The 110 minutes felt much longer. After seeing the film, I also found that some aspects of the plot were inaccurate. If a movie relies upon the history of the time period, at least make it accurate. The strongest feature of the film was definitely the cast. All of the main characters were played by well-established actors, such as George Clooney and Matt Damon. I thought that each actor brought their own strengths and their different personalities made The Monuments Men a decent movie. For example, Bob Balaban’s character served as comedic relief from some of the painfully dull points of the film.

The Monuments Men is a movie worth seeing once, but isn’t something to rave about. The key point of the film is for the audience to appreciate their culture, which is often taken for granted. I think that the film does a great job of getting people to realize that, but doesn’t provide much else in terms of quality filmmaking.

Nathan’s View

The Monuments Men is comprised of a powerful cast that it is the driving force behind its success. The cast is diverse in age and backgrounds, but they come together to form interesting and compelling protagonists with complex relationships amongst themselves. Although it does not succeed on all levels, The Monuments Men is a powerful film that highlights a series of events during World War II that many may have not known about previously. I found it to be very interesting to learn about this true story.

Although the ensemble cast prove to be great, the sheer number featured can at the same time lead to confusion and lack of compassion from the viewer. The multiple story lines throughout the plot can also be difficult to follow at times.

There are not many instances when all the characters are together on screen, so it can be hard to establish a connection with any of them. Additionally, Clooney’s portrayal doesn’t quite always work.

While these issues don’t bring down the entire film, they prove to make the entire work less enjoyable. At times, watching the film may seem a bit of a chore instead of entertainment. One final issue I found was a few instances where the plot was advanced by a situation that seemed a bit overly coincidental and unrealistic.

However, the film succeeded in one big way, it is able to pull your heart strings in just the right way particularly when characters hint about other somber ongoings in Europe are discovered. It is interesting and well portrayed in how people first reacted when finding out about these events. The characters all seem truly dedicated to their extremely amicable cause, and also truly caring for their fellow man. Finally, the race against possible immediate catastrophic failure due to the pressure by the Germans, Russians, and the US military can be felt at all times.

Overall, this film succeeds in telling a special tale of hard-work and overcoming adversity. I would recommend seeing it if you have an interest in history, are a fan of any of the main actors, or have an interest in the specific plot. It presents compelling characters that combine with a unique story to make a very strong film.

The strongest feature of the film was definitely the cast. All of the main characters were played by well-established actors, such as George Clooney and Matt Damon. I thought that each actor brought their own strengths and their different personalities made The Monuments Men a decent movie. For example, Bob Balaban’s character served as comedic relief from some of the painfully dull points of the film.

The Monuments Men is a movie worth seeing once, but isn’t something to rave about. The key point of the film is for the audience to appreciate their culture, which is often taken for granted. I think that the film does a great job of getting people to realize that, but doesn’t provide much else in terms of quality filmmaking.