“Greed” is a tough movie to review because we’re not quite sure what it wants to accomplish, but there is enough talent and spice here to keep us interested, while digging up new ground that hasn’t been remade or rebooted a hundred times over.
Steve Coogan plays Sir Richard McCreadie, a billionaire titan of the clothing industry, that wants to ring in his 60th birthday with an epic party in the tradition of the film “Gladiator”. While this massive fiesta is being stood up, we follow his biographer, Nick (played by David Mitchell), his ex wife (Isla Fisher) and others, as we discover out how this ruthless and cold man came to power.
The film is a dramedy, both trying to be an over the top comedy, and a drama that is trying to send a message at the same time, but in that regard the film short changes itself and forces us to change gears too many times, sabotaging itself in the process.
The cast is fine. The laughs are strong. And the pacing is fast enough to make sure we’re not getting too bored as it jumps around through flashbacks and follows different characters as the big party gets closer.
Director Michael Winterbottom does stumble a bit with the final act and doesn’t really get the return of investment he should have with a set up this good. His political message is crammed into this busy picture and the audience might miss it’s point. If he would have been clearer on the film he was trying to make, he could have had a strong little gem here, but he got too.. well you know.
Still, “Greed” is just fine.
Running time: 1 hour 44 minutes