REVIEW: “Dumb Money” a feel-good biopic where the little guy wins

Photo credit: "Money" by 401(K) 2013 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
"Money" by 401(K) 2013 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Photo credit: "Money" by 401(K) 2013 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

“Dumb Money” is a David and Goliath tale that tells the true story of ordinary, working-class citizens spinning Wall Street on its head. Everyday people become rich by sending video game retailer GameStop’s stock soaring in price even as the company bordered on bankruptcy.

Based on Ben Mezrich’s novel “The Antisocial Network,” the film tells this extraordinary story known as the “GameStop short squeeze” of January 2021. The film was directed by Craig Gillespie and released in theaters nationwide on Sept. 22.

Our story’s hero, Keith Gill (Paul Dano), jumpstarts the financial craze when he puts his life’s savings into GameStop stock and shares his actions online. When his social media explodes, his life and that of his followers change dramatically. As the stock tip turns into a movement and GameStop’s stock surges, major investors get word of what’s going on and things get messy.

The movie has an all-star cast. From Gill’s point-of-view, Dano is accompanied by Shailene Woodley who plays his wife and Pete Davidson as his brother.

His Youtube followers include America Ferrera as a hard-working nurse, Talia Ryder as a struggling, but passionate college student and Anthony Ramos as a local GameStop employee.

The big sharks include Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) who is the owner of Melvin Capital, one of the companies that is shorting GameStop. His backers include other millionaires like Kenneth Griffin (Nick Offerman) and Steve Cohen (Vincent D’Onofrio). The co-owners of the company Robinhood, a platform that makes it accessible to buy stocks, are played by Sebastian Stan and Rushi Kota.

At its core, “Dumb Money” is a movie about hope and rooting for the little guy. The comedy highlights the lightheartedness of the people involved despite their uphill battle. Though the story has its darker moments, we see the characters turn to humor and laugh through their struggles with family and friends.

This movie adaptation of Mezrich’s book is his third to be turned into a film. As a result, his fans likely had clear expectations of what they were going to get when they walked into theaters, but this time they were sorely disappointed.

While the message was encouraging and moving, “Dumb Money” lacked a thrilling storyline that left you at the edge of your seat.

Despite lacking suspense, this feel-good, inspirational story of the little guy outsmarting powerful financial interests may motivate the average movie-goer to try and make more of themselves.