The self-righteous new movie “Greed,” named after one of the seven deadly sins, is guilty of a few of them itself.
Sloth, for one. The Steve Coogan-led comedy is a sluggish, vanilla satire of corporate capitalism, and its predictable jokes and jabs stymie a plot already cluttered with economics lessons and unlikable characters.
Exhibit A: Coogan’s Sir Richard McCreadie — a British, Richard Branson-like billionaire who made his fortune in retail fashion. He’s preparing a star-studded 60th birthday fete meant to resuscitate his reputation, which, like the movie at this point, is sagging.
Most of the film takes place on the Greek island of Mykonos as the lavish bash is being set up, and there are frustrating holdups during the construction of a coliseum, and A-list celebs keep canceling.
That beach fracas brings to mind the infamous Fyre Festival, the pricey music weekend that crashed and burned amid lies and chaotic planning. That is potentially hilarious material to mine, but you wouldn’t know it from watching this lecture.
An even worse sin here, for the moviegoer anyway, is pride. As “Greed” succumbs to self-seriousness, it develops a Christ complex. There’s a subplot about Syrian refugees camping on the beach and plenty of sad flashbacks to Indian sweatshops where McCreadie’s clothes are made. It’s as funny as “The Hurt Locker.”
Coogan and Isla Fisher, as his friendly ex-wife, are well-cast, if too mean and fake. But their comic talents are wasted on Michael Winterbottom’s sorry attempt at a mockumentary. Actually, it’s a bit greedy.
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