THERE’s money, and then gory murder in the Billionaires Boys Club (BBC). But as a famous tagline has it (from the 1987 Al Pacino starrer Wall Street), every dream has a price.
This movie, undoubtedly, will please fans of true crime.
Based on the real-life 1980s investment-social club scheme in Los Angeles run by two best buddies, played in the movie by Joe Hunt (Ansel Elgort of Baby Driver and The Fault in our Stars fame) and Dean Karny (Taron Egerton, Kingsman: The Secret Service) , BBC will remind you of Gordon Gecko and Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the 2013 The Wolf of Wall Street, and even the purported lifestyle of a certain Malaysian Chinese currently on the lam.
The story has it that Hunt and Karny targeted the well-educated sons of the rich in L.A. to be part of the BBC. Karny, a tennis pro, knew them while Hunt was the guy-who-didn’t-fit-in at the Harvard School for Boys (in real-life now called Harvard-Westlake School).
Unfortunately, the Hunt-Karny idea turned into a Ponzi scheme when investment from a wealthy guy, Ron Levin (Kevin Spacey) turned out to be fraudulent.
Basically, Hunt was had by Levin. But he turns to murder to get the millions he needed to pay his investors. In the end, Hunt was convicted in 1987 for the murder of Levin, with Karny as the state’s witness in the trial.
If you needed reminding what people will do to get rich fast, then the wheelings and dealings of Hunt and Karny should be good fodder.
If you needed to see how the young and rich partied in the 80s, then stay glued to the shenanigans at Hunt’s new top-of-hill apartment.
It’s worth a watch, even if some parts seem a little pass é. I guess, after those greedy stockbroker tales depicted on screen over the decades, such crooked ways are par for the course, to cinema viewers at least.
I thought Spacey brought a certain slimey gravitas to his role and Elgort as Hunt was just too rosebud-lippy, dewy-eyed to give me that charismatic edginess of a clever nuts who came up with a zinger of a Paradox Principle for investment.
Hunt, in real-life, defined his paradox philosophy as a system of situational ethics in which good and bad were relative terms, interchangeable depending on the circumstances.
Then Hunt goes on to murder to raise funds! Where was that Jack Nicholson-type of a cunning look?
And when Hunt realised the depths of his depravity, there didn’t seem enough panic or even remorse to draw empathy.
However, Egerton effectively channelled a naïve charm in Karny to bring that believability when in a moment of madness he kills another investor, one Hedayat Eslaminia.
However, at no point was Hunt the hero, or anyone else for that matter in this tragic story. In fact, Spacey manages to steal his every scene, which aren’t that many.
The story itself is confoundedly fascinating. Who doesn’t dream of using one’s innate ability to make fabulous money? But who would kill to cover up one’s losses? Ah, the paradox principle indeed.
I recommend more than a popcorn combo for this movie!