Film Review: The Laundromat

PUBLISHED: 16:29 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:40 08 November 2019

The Laundromat is currently showing on Netflix. Picture: IMDb

The Laundromat is currently showing on Netflix. Picture: IMDb


As shown in Logan Lucky and last year’s Unsane Steven Soderbergh has lost none of his bold, edgy style since his brief hiatus from filmmaking in 2013, and it very much remains the case with his latest film.

Based on the 2015 Panama papers scandal The Laundromat focuses on a number of characters - including the bereaved Ellen (Meryl Streep) - who find themselves falling victims to insurance fraud.

As they investigate the business moguls who profit from their loss, they find that everything leads back to two Panama based lawyers, Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas).

This duo is who we spend much of our time with as they stride through a variety of exotic sets explaining their shady methods directly to camera.

It's an effective, if hardly original, framing device that makes the maze-like proceedings palatable and owes much to the similar works including The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short both in both its style and jet black humour.

Despite their flexible (and often complete lack of) morals, these shady lawyers are an immensely engaging presence due to Oldman and Banderas both clearly having a ball as the larger than life pair.

It's a shame they are not the sole focus as the surrounding multi-protagonist subplots are so brief and unfocussed that the rest of the cast including Streep, Jeffrey Wright and David Schwimmer have no time to make an impression.

Nevertheless, this is an important and exciting exploration of the evils of corruption.

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