‘The Big Short’ Trailer: Hollywood’s Leading Men Versus the Banks
I have seen The Big Short. It is good. You should see The Big Short. But you should also be aware: This trailer feels almost nothing like the actual movie.
Yes, all these characters appear in it. I’m pretty sure every bit of footage from this clip is in the finished film. But the tone of this thing is almost 180 degrees flipped from The Big Short. “When the banks committed the biggest fraud in U.S. history, four outsiders risked it all to take them down.” Uh, I guess? Not really? Yes, there’s lots of fraud. And definitely the main characters are outsiders. But there aren’t just four of them (and if the “four” is meant to include Brad Pitt, he’s really just working for two other characters, played by John Magaro and Finn Wittrock). More importantly, they don’t really take the banks “down.” The banks took themselves (and almost the entire American economy) down without any help from Steve Carell and Christian Bale.
In reality, Carell and Bale’s characters (along with Ryan Gosling’s, Magaro’s and Wittlock’s) were investment bankers who identified the impending doom of the 2008 financial crisis and profited off of it by shorting the housing market before it collapsed (hence the title of the film, taken from the Michael Lewis nonfiction book that inspired it). And while the trailer makes The Big Short look like an inspirational Oscar-bait docudrama, the real movie is a great deal weirder, scarier, and funnier, than this trailer suggests. It’s selling the straightforward version of this story. The Big Short is the twisted, cynical prankster version.
Which, again, is totally worth your time, particularly if you’re a fan of director Adam McKay and have been waiting to see him take his unique sense of humor into the world of political satire. That’s what The Big Short is really all about. It opens in theaters on December 23.