Ben Rasmin - @benrasmin
REVIEW: THE LAUNDROMAT (2019)
The Laundromat should be a thing of beauty. Brilliant director, check. Fabulous cast, check. Interesting topic, check. But sadly, it falls foul of a pitfall that is becoming increasingly synonymous with Netflix Originals - they're not that original. This particular concoction feels like a lazy imitation of Adam McKay's far superior The Big Short, mainly because much of the film involves famous actors breaking the fourth wall to 'mansplain' complex financial scams to the audience.
The sheer laziness of that wouldn't be so grating if the film hadn't cast Gary Oldman as German lawyer Jürgen Mossack, a decision that I can only assume was made on the basis that Christoph Waltz wasn't available. Oldman and counterpart Antonio Banderas clearly have a lot of fun hamming it up as the film's chief antagonists, but their performances give the film a goofy vibe that belies the importance of the Panama Papers scandal. Meryl Streep does her level best to bring some maturity to proceedings but sees her good work undone by one of the most cringe-inducing final scenes I've seen. It's one of many missteps in a film that can only be described as a missed opportunity and a rare sour note in the career of the usually excellent Steven Soderbergh.
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