The Monuments Men Review

The Monuments Men

Something worth dying for.

It’s easy to forget that this is essentially what we all search for, as we constantly find ourselves distracted by the all singing, all dancing crap of our modern world.

Or simply by the thought that we should try and live for as long as we humanly can, even if this means living a life that has no meaning.

I am George Clooney’s raging sense of outrage at our very modern penchant for apathy.

The real life monuments men and women from the Second World War found something they were prepared to die for, and George Clooney’s film of the sort of same name makes sure they’re not forgotten.

It’s 1944 and Mr Hitler isn’t kidding anyone as the allies have him on the run with their combined forces converging on his embryonic third reich.

Turns out this isn’t just a war over land and insane racial supremacy, but also of culture and our minds.

As Germany has been goose-stepping all over Europe, Adolf has been ransacking the continent’s greatest works of art and hoarding them throughout his fatherland.

Though not his father’s land.

Turns out being a failed art student stuck in nein furhrer’s craw somewhat, and now he’s planning on setting up a museum in homage to his glorious self imaginatively titled the furhrer museum.

Oh Adolf, you are a creative soul.

Having got wind of this, a bunch of artists, architects, sculptors and other left loving creative types volunteer to go into still war torn Europe to try and preserve the culture of assorted folk Hitler is trying to steal.

But worse is afoot, as the demi-moustachioed maniac issues orders to destroy all these great art works he’s nicked if, sorry when he gets his upper lip served to him on a plate.

So begins a race against time to save as much of Europe’s culture, before it burns alongside the evil of Hitler’s third reich.

The Monuments Men is a bitter-sweet tale of true heroism in the face of the evil that men do.

I had no idea that Hitler had tried to steal so much of Europe’s art and history while enslaving the bulk of Germany’s neighbouring countries he invaded, even less so that a brave band of men and women who were anything but trained soldiers risked their lives to recover this from the Nazi’s in the dying embers of the second world war.

For that reason alone, The Monuments Men is worth watching.

But when George Clooney goes into cinematic battle, you know hollywood’s cognoscenti are going to line up to follow him.

Cue an a-list ensemble cast that includes Matt Damon, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, some chap from Downton Abbey, Cate Blanchett and the incomparable William Murray.

Though now I’ve had a press conference with the great man, I feel like I can legitimately call him Bill.

Set up as a sort of Ocean’s Eleven in army fatigues, The Monuments Men is so much more than this and will make you laugh then cry while teaching a valuable lesson about the very best that men can be too.

And the real life monuments men and women are undoubtedly this, for which we all owe indebted to.

Jonathan Campbell

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February 2014
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