film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Dumb Money 2023 * * Stars


2023's Dumb Money isn't a "dumb" movie, just a neutered one when you compare it to stuff like The Social Network, Snowden, The Big Short, and Steve Jobs. You know, those "based on a true story" films where some smart guy (or guys) goes on trial for making a whole lot of moolah and/or exposing others by being a whistleblower. "Money" grunges it up a bit, plays it a little less self-serious, and adds explicit rap music in the background. Unintentionally, it comes off as a less gripping version of the stuff just mentioned. 

Now I don't know much about stocks but Dumb Money sure explains them to me. Whether it's archive news footage, title cards, or interviews, "Money" never fails to let the viewer know about everything Wall Street. The flick, well it almost comes off as a forced wiki entry, relentlessly filling the 104-minute runtime assuming that the audience member is sort of "dumb" themselves. Again I think this was done not on purpose, trying to give some sort of shares history lesson. "If he's in I'm in".  For reals. 

With its events taking place just two years ago, during COVID, and with emphatic social media remnants, Dumb Money is about Keith Gill, a regular Joe who puts his savings in GameStop stock. When he's on the verge of becoming rich, chaos and furor ensues. Paul Dano plays Gill and plays him well. It's in the restraining and the long face. And Seth Rogen does solid work as rival investor Gabe Plotkin. Every other character in "Money", well they're galling and unlikable, their dialogue readings profanity-laden while lacking substance. When Dano's Gill gives a final monologue reading during Dumb Money's conclusion, you've already had enough of almost every layabout millennial involved that profited off of Keith's mindful tips. Token "shekels".  

Written by Jesse Burleson

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