ByMark Varley, writer at
Watches films, writes about them, watches them again, tweets about them
Mark Varley

So who knew Adam McKay would move so effectively from hilarious and silly comedies like Anchorman and The Other Guys to more serious fare like The Big Short. I didn't and maybe that's why I enjoyed The Big Short so much.

There's nothing funny about the economic collapse of 2008 brought on by fraudulent behaviour from trusted banks. Yet, McKay makes it interesting and humerous thanks to a witty script and perfect performances from a game cast. Ryan Gosling is funny and slimy as wheeler dealer Jared Vennett, Christian Bale has fun playing socially awkward and intelligent Michael Burry and Steve Carrell is thoroughly convincing as a permanently pent up pressure cooker of a man.

McKay's dense screenplay does well to explain the complicated jargon. He bends over backwards to make it entertaining because the way banks work is horribly convoluted in a deliberate sense. McKay uses celebrity cameos to help explain definitions but I felt this was gimmicky. I much preferred the moments when Ryan Gosling's character broke the fourth wall and spoke to us directly because it keeps us rooted in the drama. Frantic editing energises the film and helps maintain pace throughout the two hour running time. However I could have done without the zoom in zoom out cinematography which along with the rapid edits had me sometimes a little disorientated.

The Big Short tells an important story that more people need to be aware of and does a good job telling it in a straightforward and entertaining way. Bravo to the man who brought Ron Burgundy to the big screen. You stay classy Adam McKay.


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