Paul Dano Has Us Rooting for the Underdog

Dumb Cash, which made its world premiere on the Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition, earns 3 stars (out of 4) from Us Weekly film critic Mara Reinstein. 

Shut your eyes and flash all the way in which again to early 2021. Amid political upheaval and a pandemic (and, um, the excitement surrounding WandaVision), a forged of particular person merchants on Reddit began shopping for the GameStop inventory in droves to squeeze seasoned traders out of cash. The get-rich-quick gambit drew bold-faced headlines galore. Nonetheless, until you have been straight concerned, it was extra of a captivating finance blip than essential controversy with longterm affect.

Dumb Cash, which focuses on the GameStop “brief squeeze,” probably received’t trigger main reverberations on a cinematic degree, both. Within the tech-business biopic subgenre, The Social Community and The Huge Brief stay the extra refined movies. However by way of riveting and depraved leisure, this comedy can’t be undervalued. In spite of everything, crowd-pleasing takes on particular which means when the underdogs get to stay their collective center finger to The Man.

The story is stranger than fiction — in a great way! Take into account that the person behind the motion was a cat lover live-streaming from his basement in a quiet Boston city. Keith Gill (Paul Dano) is an unassuming monetary analyst making first rate cash when he decides to sink $50,000 into GameStop. You realize, the online game retailer quietly taking over area in suburban malls. He reveals his resolution together with different monetary insights on a Reddit thread below the moniker Roaring Kitty.

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His information and unbridled enthusiasm for his treasured new inventory spurs his mostly-broke followers to make the leap and make investments on-line as nicely. This group features a Pittsburgh-based important employee (America Ferrera), a pair of Texas school college students freaking out over their debt (Myha’la Herrold, Talia Ryder) and a Detroit GameStop worker (Anthony Ramos). Because the Davids begin to yield management over the inventory market, the hedge fund Goliaths (performed by Seth Rogen, Vincent D’Onofrio and Nick Offerman) begin to panic. So does the co-developer (Sebastian Stan) of the Robinhood buying and selling app.

'Dumb Money' Review: Paul Dano Has Us Rooting for the Underdog in Star-Studded Comedy

Nick Offerman and Seth Rogen in ‘Dumb Cash.’
Courtesy of TIFF

These vigorous characters, together with their titles and internet worths, are launched early on with a flourish. As in, Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s 2020 hit “WAP” blares over the opening! However as a result of director Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) tries to toggle all their storylines in below two hours, Dumb Cash at instances looks like one lengthy snappy montage set to pop music. Meaning a few of the gamers — particularly Rogen and Offerman — come off too one-note. There’s additionally an annoying TikTok-like visible factor, because the display screen is consistently full of quick-cut archival cable information clips and cash graphs and movies of individuals shedding their minds over the ever-changing fluctuations.

It’s a bit exhausting. It’s additionally simple to know why Gillespie selected this particular fashion over meaty substance. Deciphering the fast-paced monetary world will be an arduous activity and Margot Robbie can’t simply as soon as once more clarify the advanced phrases in a bubble bathtub like she did in The Huge Brief. Dumb Cash dumbs down the important thing factors in a approach that’s accessible and user-friendly.

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Within the shrewdest transfer of all, Dano performs Keith as the last word working-class hero who’s open and wanting to genuinely please. He and his spouse (Shailene Woodley) aren’t obnoxious about their newfound mega-wealth; he and his brother (a well-cast Pete Davidson) bicker with love below each circumstance. Keith has a long-running inside joke to his followers in regards to the hen tenders he feeds his younger son. He even fails to come back off as a tech bro whereas testifying in entrance of Congress. Albeit on Zoom.

'Dumb Money' Review: Paul Dano Has Us Rooting for the Underdog in Star-Studded Comedy

Pete Davidson and Paul Dano in ‘Dumb Cash.’
Courtesy of TIFF

Did Keith additionally break the regulation by making a sort-of unlawful pyramid scheme? Maybe. However his model is the geeky everyman. And right here, the geeky everyman wins. For Dumb Cash is each a rousing comedy and an efficient (and clearly well timed) story of outcasts who dared to problem the established order. Be at liberty to root for it.

Dumb Cash opens in choose theaters on September 15 and nationwide on October 6.