‘House of Hammer’ review: Discovery+ series tries to connect Armie Hammer’s accusations with his family history

‘House of Hammer’ review: Discovery+ series tries to connect Armie Hammer’s accusations with his family history

‘House of Hammer’ review: Discovery+ series tries to connect Armie Hammer’s accusations with his family history

Hammer has been under investigation for sexual assault since 2021 after a woman accused him of rape. He has not been charged and has denied committing any wrongdoing, saying through his lawyer at the time that the allegation, which arose from an alleged encounter in 2017, was “outrageous” and said his interactions with the woman and other partners were “completely outrageous.” were mutually agreed, discussed and prearranged.”

A spokesman for the LA County District Attorney’s Office told CNN on Thursday that the case is still under investigation. “A specially appointed prosecutor is working with law enforcement officers as they continue their investigations,” he said, adding that the evidence will be reviewed once it is submitted.

Amid the publicity surrounding the rape allegation and releasing private DMs on Instagram, the actor subsequently withdrew from film and TV projects, including “Shotgun Wedding,” a film starring Jennifer Lopez; and a streaming series, “The Sacrifice,” based on the making of the movie “The Godfather.”

When announcing his departure from the former, Hammer released a statement calling the “online attacks” against him “cruel and inauthentic”.

CNN has reached out to a Hammer representative for comment on the series, noting that Hammer declined to be interviewed.

“House of Hammer” spends most of its first chapter laying out the charges against Hammer, including interviews with two women, Courtney Vucekovich and Julia Morrison, about their relationships with him.

But “House of Hammer” goes way beyond that part of the story, expanding into the “dark misdeeds,” as Hammer’s Aunt Casey Hammer puts it, associated with other members of the Hammer family, dating back to Patriarch Armand Hammer. , the billionaire oil tycoon.

Casey Hammer, in the Discovery+ three-part documentary series 'House of Hammer.'

It’s where the series often feels like it’s going significantly too far, not just in its stylistic choices — with creepy music and cameras panning down dark hallways — but in seemingly trying to figure out the Hammers’ alleged behavior over the years. to be portrayed as something more than excesses associated with power and privilege, but almost a kind of inherited evil.

Casey Hammer thus becomes the centerpiece of the docuseries, after writing a book, “Surviving My Birthright,” in which she alleges abusive or distasteful behavior in relation to men in her family. Towards the end of the docuseries, she meets Vucekovich and praises her for the courage to speak out, amid depictions of the social media abuse she and others have endured for doing so.

“House of Hammer” clearly has a story to tell, but its lustful approach lacks the focus or discipline to do justice to the most intriguing aspects.

In particular, it must be argued that members of the Hammer family have used their wealth, and the political power that comes with it, to avoid consequences. The depth of those connections is enhanced by footage of Armand Hammer strutting around with presidents, appearing on talk shows and rubbing elbows with high society after hosting a private event in Palm Beach in 1985, five years before his death, with Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Yet it is likely to be problematic to directly link different alleged transgender transgressions. Directors Elli Hakami and Julian P. Hobbs nevertheless continue to return to that theme, as well as more contemporary questions about the “Call Me By Your Name” star and whether his career can recover in the future.

While questions surrounding Armie Hammer remain understandable sources of fascination and media attention, the extent to which those issues are traceable to his family history is a trickier proposition. Maybe that’s why it feels like Discovery+ built “House of Hammer” on a rickety foundation.

“House of Hammer” premieres on Discovery+ on September 2.

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