American films

Billionaire Boys Club film review: Kevin Spacey flop makes for horribly uncomfortable viewing

Spacey is not the worst thing about this ill-conceived film. Based on a real-life swindle and double murder, it sets out to convince viewers the killer is innocent and that his victims were slain by his sharp-suited friends

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2018, 6:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2018, 6:00pm

1/5 stars

Billionaire Boys Club, which features the disgraced Kevin Spacey in a supporting role, took only US$126 on its opening day in the United States, which means only about 11 people bothered to see it in a cinema. Such a humiliating opening shows Spacey’s career is certainly over.

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The film is not helped by the way that Spacey’s character spends much of the movie leering at young men, a performance so close to his alleged actions in real life that it makes for a horribly uncomfortable watch.

It’s easy to see why the producers scrubbed Spacey from the posters for the film, although they didn’t go the whole hog and reshoot his scenes with another actor.

Spacey is not the only thing wrong with Billionaire Boy’s Club. The script, by director James Cox, takes the story of a tawdry, nasty, real-life white-collar crook and double murderer and tries to get him off the hook by claiming that his crimes were committed by his friends.

Why a director would try so hard to clean up the image of an inhuman convicted felon beggars belief.

The story is set in Beverly Hills in the 1980s when a group of ultra-rich kids take the advice of slippery Joe Hunt (Ansel Elgort) and invest their money in an outfit called the BBC. Everyone apparently sees great returns on their investments – but Hunt is running a giant pyramid scheme.

To keep the money coming in, Hunt invites slimy investor Ron Levin (Spacey) to guarantee a loan from a bank. But it turns out that Levin’s a bigger scammer than Hunt. Short of cash, the real-life Hunt had Levin killed, and then murdered another investor to try to steal his cash. But the film claims he didn’t do it.

Billionaire Boy’s Club plays like a low-grade rip-off of The Wolf of Wall Street , and is completely undone by Cox’s desire to make bad people seem good.

Billionaire Boys Club opens on August 30

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