Sixty years ago people were not as interested in art as they could be. Well, except for the Nazis, who were kind of obsessed with the stuff. Our heroes are men who work for the US Army and are trying to recapture the artwork taken by the Nazis. Several times the leader of the Monument Men is asked why he cares about this stuff, men are dying, so what if some old painting or sculpture is lost or destroyed?
It’s a question key to the time period of the film and one that is all but impossible for the modern viewer to understand. We live in a world obsessed with the collection of real and sometimes literal junk. Hoarders and collectors and experts on Star Wars toys and Cereal Boxes are kind of the norm now. So it is completely baffling that all these people during World War II fail to understand the value of the works of the Masters.
The Nazis took war to its logical extreme in all things. The purpose of war is to capture territory, cease property, and kill the enemy. They did these things so well that the modern world no longer knows what war is. Anytime anyone in our time goes to war, it’s reported as an atrocity or a human rights violation. Uh, yeah, that’s called war.
Anyway. The Monument Men tells an interesting story and we have the usual gathering of the oddball gang and laying out of things to come. I like all the actors here and they all do a good job. The sets and costumes were great. But in the end it really is the story that matters. The Monuments Men were heros of the highest calibre, they didn’t just capture some hill in some pointless battle, they saved history.