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The movie was too long

First, let me just say that I did enjoy it. Well, mostly. The beginning didn’t make much sense and all of the dialogue was relatively tortured, especially everything the mute character said. Like, how was he even talking? And obviously the plotline was ridiculous, because no one would ever be able to pull off a heist stealing both Jefferson’s AND Washington’s corpses on the same night. But mostly the film was just too damn long.

You really don’t have to look further than the grave-robbing montage to see what I mean. Did the audience really need thirty-five minutes of exhumation? Sure, the interspersed shots of Mount Vernon and Monticello at night were fantastic, but it seemed a bit excessive. I feel like it could have been edited down to a clean twenty.

Then there’s the Puerto Rican Day parade in the middle. What was that about? There wasn’t even a Puerto Rican person in the movie. And then we just watch in real time as the main characters get stuck in traffic behind one of the floats, sitting in the car chomping on gum. Is that a metaphor for scenery-chewing or something?

I do feel like the bits in the libraries were important, since they were presented as how the characters did their research on specifics of the targeted grave sites, but again, it was shown in real time. We were literally watching a guy read an encyclopedia entry to himself for eleven minutes, and he wasn’t even reading aloud after he got shushed by the librarian during the third sentence. Feels like that could have been trimmed a bit.

Yes, the cinematography was terrible, and the character dialogue switched to French for no obvious reason for a stretch of an hour or so, but the editing is the real flaw in this movie. My legs went numb in the theater after the sixth hour, and I got fired from my day job after missing four consecutive days while I was watching the film, but I will say it was worth it for the ending. What an eleven-hour scene! If only we could have gotten there a bit sooner.

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