Review: The Laundromat
The Small Short.
When Ellen Martin's (Meryl Streep) husband dies in a boating accident, she expects a big pay out from the boat company's insurance policy. Only she finds out it's fraudulent and linked to a law firm in Panama ran by our narrators - Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca. (Antonio Banderas)
Stephen Soderbergh apparently really liked The Big Short, because that's exactly what he's attempting to do here structure wise. Instead of the housing crisis,we have an insurance scam. It is well directed but the characters are not nearly as compelling as The Big Short, or most recently Hustlers to pull this type of film off.
Before I watched this I had read some negative reviews that all talked about Streep, but it was Oldman and Banderas who I thought were completely insufferable. Oldman's accent is atrocious, he sounds like he's just trying to mimic Banderas so I was quite confused when his character mentions being from Germany. So we're stuck with annoying narrator who stay with us throughout, while all the interesting characters show up for 10 minutes, than disappear. They show how far and wide this scam goes. Taking us to Nevis, Panama, China, Los Angeles and introduce us to other characters that they promptly leave.
Jeffrey Wright shows up to dodge a phone call, dodge a question, then get arrested. The biggest waste involves Nonso Anozie, Jessica Allain, Miracle Washington and Nikki Amuka-Bird. Anozie plays Charles, a man who cheats on his wife (Amuka-Bird) with his daughter Simone's (Allian) friend Astrid. (Washington) Simone threatens to tell her mom, so Charles tries to bribe her with shares. It's the most engaging part of the movie, they get about 15-20 minutes of time, then we never see them again. Nearly all the side stories are more interesting than the man one with Ellen.
I had low expectations going in, and this film was better than I expected, but it's nowhere near good.
Memorable Quote: "How does he fucking do it?" - Simone (Jessica Allain)