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DVD review: The Monuments Men: a moderately entertaining testament of courage

The Monuments Men


The Monuments Men is a courageous testament of one of the greatest unrecognized acts in human history. It’s a film that serves as a testament that pays homage to the dedication of brave men who had the foresight to protect some of history’s greatest treasures. The movie is based on the true events that were chronicled in a book of the same name by Robert M. Edsel. The movie George Clooney (Gravity), Matt Damon (Elysium), Bill Murray (Zombieland), Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Hugh Bonneville (Muppets Most Wanted), Jean Dujardin (The Wolf of Wall Street), Bob Balaban (No Reservations), Dimitri Leonidas (Centurion), and John Goodman (Transformers: Age of Extinction).
Synopsis: An unlikely group of men are united by a mutual appreciation for the historical masterpieces of art. These men courageously join the World War 2 war to attempt to rescue art from the clutches of the Nazis and return them to their owners.
The Monuments Men is a biographical war drama that speaks volumes. It’s about the preservation of history, culture, and achievements. George Clooney’s character Frank Stokes quoted it best “You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they'll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it's as if they never existed. That's what Hitler wants and that's exactly what we are fighting for.” The film really delves into one of the more covert missions that the general public probably has no knowledge of. It’s one of the incredible unheard stories that needed to be told. It’s great that there was a movie based upon the dauntless acts of the men that were involved in this larger than life adventure. The Monuments Men really reveals one of the missions that most have never heard of. The unenviable task to save some of the great treasures of art is brave in itself. Add to the fact that it was during a war makes the feat even more admirable. The movie doesn’t delve too much into the interworking of what really happened. This is more of an overview of what occurred. In spite of that, the film is still very informational and offers a good level of entertainment.
The cast is most likely the biggest draw to this film. It is as talented you will see. The Monuments Men reunites the duo of Clooney and Damon then adds the talents of John Goodman, Bill Murray, and Cate Blanchett. All have given better performances respectively but they do a decent job bringing this fantastic story to life as well. The film does a really good job at showing the relationships that these men had and the ones that formed because of it. It also does a great job at showing how passionate the members of the Monuments Men were about what they were doing for not just their country but the world. One of the real gems of the film is the interaction between Bill Murray and Bob Balaban. They have good chemistry and have a number of humorous but short lived moments together.
The true events behind The Monuments Men are better than the film depiction of it. The film is just average. It’s not one of those epic biopics or epic war movies that knock your socks off. It is however, a very good resource of information about something that most of the general public isn’t aware and should. On that alone the film is worth watching. I wouldn’t suggest buying it but if you can redbox or Netflix then be sure to give it a look.