The Monuments Men

I'm not a fine artist. Many, many of my classes were held in the Harris Fine Arts Center on BYU campus, however, so I do have some fine-artsy leanings, and that means that The Monuments Men, a story of art experts going to Europe in the final years of World War II in order to rescue as much fine art and architecture as possible, was bound to appeal to me.

Which it did. I really enjoyed it.

It was not an exciting action happy fun boom movie, though. It had a more sedate pace, and even the scenes with fighting in them were kind of leisurely, at least by the standards set by my usual fare. Will you enjoy it? I have no idea. 

I also have no idea whether it was true to the source material, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel, let alone true to the historical facts in the matter, but I'll say this much -- this did not feel like an action movie representation of 20th-century warfare and espionage. It felt like real people being heroic, terrified, miserable, and courageous in various combinations. I'm sure some of the pacing was Hollywood Artifice, especially at the end, but there was very little in the way of running gunfight.

Some reviewers have complained about the film's tendency to ramble. I kind of liked it. I can spot the enforcement of formula a long way off, and The Monuments Men didn't do that. Oh, there were callbacks and payoffs and running gags and so forth, but they seemed pretty natural, and I had a great time.

Is it worth seeing at the local dodecaplex? I hesitate to tell you how to spend your time and money, but I believe this is at the very least worth renting when that option becomes available. In my own personal scale The Monuments Men doesn't crack the Threshold of Awesome, but it also did not disappoint. It's my #2 for the year as of this writing.

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