Over 350 cast and crew worked on a film you might not have heard of, Billionaire Boys Club. Starring some of Hollywood’s biggest and most talented up and coming stars, not to mention one of the greatest actors to have graced our screens this lifetime. The reason you didn’t see or hear about this film is because it’s shrouded in controversy. Not for its content, not for its rating, not for anything other than this one actor thinking he was above the law for far too many years.
Rather than punish those 350 cast and crew who worked long hours using their craft for audiences to lose themselves for a couple of hours, Director James Cox managed to convince the studio that these hard-working individuals should see their work. Without that decision to honour the cast and crew this surprisingly good film may never have seen the light of day.
“We don’t condone sexual harassment on any level and we fully support victims of it. At the same time, this is neither an easy nor insensitive decision to release this film in theatres, but we believe in giving the cast, as well as hundreds of crew members who worked hard on the film, the chance to see their final product reach audiences,” said James Cox.
This particular actor that ruined an entire film and stopped the cast and crew from being able to see their hard work be loved and praised around the world is none other than Mr Kevin Spacey. Despite his actions there is no denying he is one Hollywood’s most talented actors. With a range that hasn’t been seen in quite some time and such versatility, Spacey is easily one of a kind. Be as talented as you may, sexual abuse is and never will be condoned no matter who you think you are.
As such this will no doubt be Spacey’s final film and for good reason. However, because of his actions and rather poor timing, the film suffered and will never reach its full potential.
Based on real life events in the 1980s, two best friends Joe Hunt (Ansel Elgort) and Dean Karny (Taron Egerton) decide to start a business to make them millions. The name of their business was BBC and quickly nicknamed the Billionaire Boys Club. In an attempt to work the stock market the boys quickly find themselves out of pocket and in over their heads.
To convince investors, they start to make some slight changes to their books. In searching for an investor, the boys make a deal with Ron Levin (Kevin Spacey) and start working on some major deals. All this time the boys are starting to drive nice cars, buy nice suits and rent expensive houses.
As the two got deeper in over their heads they failed to notice that Ron Levin was working them over just as bad as they were working over their investors. And their empire came crashing down forcing the two to backstab eachother to save their own.
This tale has been told many times before. Some deadbeat nobodies try fudge the system only to make a quick buck but get busted. What makes this that little bit different is how genuine the films feels. It’s not a major blockbuster filled with visual distractions. It’s simple and it tells this story of greed and friendship with a fun homage to the 80s.
Telling the story is the character of Dean Karny played by Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Eddie the Eagle, Sing: Johnny voice). Egerton has this tough street macho vibe about him and it’s hard to see him as anything other than an annoying womaniser. But that works perfectly for his character. As most of his major characters to date have been rather similar, he does manage to pull the viewer in whenever he is on screen. This trait adds to the chemistry with his screen partner, Ansel Elgort.
Elgort is perhaps a name you aren’t aware of just yet, but will no doubt recognise the face. He has starred in Baby Driver (next to Kevin Spacey) Allegiant and the Fault in Our Stars. Elgort is a force to be reckoned with as a strong contender for the up and coming in Hollywood. His charisma on screen and range as an actor gets better and better with each film. He takes the viewer on a roller coaster of emotions in Billionaire Boys Club in scenes where he confesses to his father what he’s done.
One of the stand out performances is Kevin Spacey who plays the mentor and financier Ron Levin. Spacey plays this eccentric cashed up socialite with surprising ease. He breezes through each scene and feels like he pushes the other actors around him to push themselves as well. Spacey has a unique ability to stare right through the camera and into the viewers eyes, making you feel like what he is doing on screen is actually somehow affecting you.
Billionaire Boys Club is a wonderful throwback to the 80s. The hair, the costumes and most definitely the music. The attention to detail is spot on and really adds to the genuine feel the film has. If there is anything that will bring the film down; aside from the controversy, is the fact that whilst a true story, the execution of the ending is something to be desired. But for most true stories this is how they are ended, taking away from the connection you had with the film itself.
Overall there are some outstanding performances from everyone who graced the screen. The homage to the 80s was executed perfectly transporting the viewer to that exact time and place. But because of one man’s actions this film will never be valued as it rightly should. But for those of you who do end up finding this film somewhere, you’ll enjoy the story of this particular time where the world was just starting to get back on its feet and the men who thought they could wrought it.