‘The perception of reality is more real than reality’ – Billionaire Boys Club (2018) review

Released in 2018, part biography, part crime thriller Billionaire Boys club stars Ansel Elgort and Taran Egerton as spoilt rich boys Joe Hunt and Dean Karny. Wanting to make their own fortunes instead of sponging off of other people’s, they establish a get rich quick scheme. Just when they think that they’ve hit the jackpot, things start to turn deadly when they start making scam deals with the wrong people.

Set in the 1980’s, this is a film that oozes old school Los Angeles glamour, all grand apartments and flashy cars. But it’s all a cover over the seedy underworld of crime. Based on a real life scam, we see the boys bluffing their way through business meetings and raking in the investments as Joe Hunt (Elgort) struggles to hold it all together.

Whilst most of the boys, including Egerton’s Dean Karny, delight in their growing fortune, Joe seems to have better morals and comes to realise that what they are doing is wrong. But, whilst he may want to change his ways, the character comes across as weak willed and easily led, easily by trickster businessman Ron Levin (played by Kevin Spacey). No matter how much Joe tries to get away, the crime filled way of life just keeps pulling him back in.

In terms of the story line as a whole, if I’m being completely honest, it feels a little rushed in places. It rattles through multiple years with little to no notification of the changes and the whole get rich quick scam is complex and not really explained in full. I didn’t find it an easy film to follow, but it’s not my genre of choice so I could put that down to my overall levels of interest.

If you like the crime/thriller genre, then you may like this one, with it’s interesting characters and numourous twists and turns throughout. But, for me, it was a struggle. I found the ins and outs of the complex scam confusing and would have liked to see more of how the other boys in the group were handling the whole situation instead of the majority of the film focuses mostly on Joe’s side of the story.

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