Bale, Gosling, Carrell, and Pitt. Those four names star in The Big Short. What a cast. How you got these four in the same vicinity let alone in one movie is a feat itself.
Adam McKay helms to tell the story of the housing markets crash in the mid-2000’s. Our four stars have predicted this crash and now decide to take on the banks. McKay is an interesting choice for this type of film. He’s been Will Ferrell’s partner for years. (Anchorman 1&2, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, Talladega Nights). This movie is like nothing he’s done before. A serious drama, about a pretty historic event, with four powerhouse names. Can McKay step out of that comedic bubble? Or is this a step in the wrong direction?
This film was spectacular. McKay got brilliant performances out of his four big actors and told this story in such a unique way. There’s so much energy, and it’s actually pretty hilarious for something that should be dark and depressing.
He introduces Ryan Gosling’s character Jared Vennent by having him break the fourth wall and tell the audience how bankers went from losers, to superstars. We then meet Michael Burry (Bale) and Mark Baum (Carrell) who bet against the housing market, and get laughed at throughout for it.
McKay brings the movie to a halt to explain this high minded banking world to us common folk. Appearances by Margot Robbie in a bathtub and Selena Gomez playing blackjack all break down the CDO’s and Mortgage-backed security. These little scenes did a great job of explaining the scope of this story, and the greed by banks to profit off of horrible loans. Vennent also has a decent amount of these fourth wall breaking explainers that help put all these pieces together.
This story succeeds in such a way that makes me feel ashamed to have been rooting for these characters. You find yourself getting behind this crash happening so Baum and Burry can get rich, and give a big F*** you to Wall Street. Then you realize that 8 million people lost jobs, 6 million lost homes and you’re just like “wow this is nuts”.
I loved this movie. You root for all the characters to stick it to Wall Street, and for them to become richer than we could ever imagine being. McKay brings a levity to a dark story, making it feel fun, and a blast to sit through.