Christian Bale is a hedge fund manager who in 2007 notices that the housing market is built around flimsy loans, he realises that with this discovery he can make insane amounts of profit by betting against said market. Meanwhile Steve Carrell is another hedge fund manager who has caught wind of this realisation and also decides to take on the banks but for personal reasons. This film follows how these few people profited from the mid-noughties economic downturn.
Now if you are like me, you are thinking “why on earth would I want to watch a film about banking?” I was properly dreading this. But fear not the trailers are dreadfully misleading. It’s actually very cool and funny. You thought it looked dull and like the social network only about banking and with less style. But it’s actually far weirder and more interesting than it looks. It’s a film that knows it’s about something a little dry so fills it with larger than life characters and filmmaking quirks like fourth wall breaks. But key to its success is the way that it never oversteps the quirkiness so it never gets obnoxious or irritating. It’s actually a hoot and I completely misjudged it.
The problems with the film are all to do with the subject matter which is dull, and the film knows it’s dull. There is an awful lot of explanation that needs to be done just for the story to make any sense, and having this information delivered in a humorous and unconventional way will only go so far. I also found Steve Carrell’s character just too irritating to really care about. I liked everyone else involved and wanted them to succeed, but I honestly didn’t care about him. I thought he was overacting and just doing his normal comic thing only turned up a few notches. I think without Foxcatcher last year Carrell would have heard nothing from the awards community because this is pretty standard for him.
Overall though, I really enjoyed The Big Short. It’s consistently funny and makes something I don’t really know about or understand quite interesting. It is slightly too long, but honestly I thought this would be a massive drag and its dead fun.