*the third of six very short reviews, in an attempt to catch up on 2015 film journalism before the 2016 movie season really kicks in*
Who would have thought that one of the year's most important movies would come from the director of Anchorman and Step Brothers?
Adam McKay transcends his usual genre trappings with The Big Short, a biographical comedy-drama about the recent economic recession, the unchecked greed that led to its crushing existence, the few men who saw it coming and took advantage, and the (im)moral implications of all of these things. The result is a film that's as funny and informative as it is overwhelmingly frustrating- in the best of ways.
McKay's transition from outrageously surreal comedy to adapting a book about the truths behind the recession is not immediately successful. During the first act, his screenplay clumsily walks a tonal tightrope between wanting to entertain and wanting to educate. Not including hilarious cameos from celebrities explaining complicated economic principles, some of the first hour's humor falls flat due to feeling out of place. Soon, though, the awkwardly jokey vibe gives way to heart-rending drama wrought from watching the wealthy 1% intentionally screw over the American middle class. It prompts a necessary anger in a riveting, engaging manner.
The Big Short is an essential, explanatory living part of the protest against the sinister motives of Wall Street and our country's "too big to fail" banks. See it; laugh and Feel the Bern in equal measure.