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

Hammer has been below investigation for sexual assault since 2021, after a lady accused him of rape. He has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing, on the time saying via his legal professional that the allegation, stemming from an alleged 2017 encounter, was “outrageous” and stated his interactions with the lady and different companions have been “fully consensual, mentioned and agreed upon prematurely.”

A spokesman for the LA County District Attorney’s Office advised CNN Thursday that the case stays below investigation. “A specifically assigned prosecutor is working with legislation enforcement as they proceed their investigation,” he stated, including that the proof will probably be evaluated as soon as it’s submitted.

Amid the publicity surrounding the rape allegation and the discharge of personal Instagram DMs, the actor subsequently withdrew from movie and TV tasks, together with “Shotgun Wedding,” a film with Jennifer Lopez; and a streaming sequence, “The Offer,” primarily based on the making of the film “The Godfather.”

In asserting his exit from the previous, Hammer issued a press release calling the “on-line assaults” towards him “vicious and spurious.”

CNN has reached out to a consultant of Hammer for touch upon the sequence, which notes that Hammer declined to be interviewed.

“House of Hammer” spends most of its first chapter laying out the allegations towards Hammer, together with interviews with two girls, Courtney Vucekovich and Julia Morrison, relating to their relationships with him.

Yet “House of Hammer” goes properly past that a part of the story, increasing to embody the “darkish misdeeds,” as Hammer’s aunt Casey Hammer places it, related to different members of the Hammer household, courting again to patriarch Armand Hammer, the billionaire oil tycoon.

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

It’s there the place the sequence incessantly feels as if it is considerably overreaching, not solely in its stylistic decisions — with eerie music and cameras panning down darkened hallways — however by seemingly trying to color the Hammers’ alleged habits via the years as one thing greater than excesses related to energy and privilege, however virtually some form of inherited evil.

Casey Hammer thus turns into a centerpiece of the docuseries, having written a ebook, “Surviving My Birthright,” alleging abusive or unsavory habits related to males in her household. Toward the tip of the docuseries, she meets with Vucekovich, commending her for the braveness to talk out, amid representations of the social-media abuse that she and others have skilled for doing so.

“House of Hammer” clearly has a narrative to inform, however its salacious strategy lacks the main target or self-discipline to do its most intriguing points justice.

Specifically, there is a case to be made that Hammer relations have used their wealth, and the political energy related to it, to keep away from penalties. The depth of these connections are strengthened by footage of Armand Hammer hobnobbing with presidents, showing on speak reveals and rubbing elbows with excessive society, having hosted a personal Palm Beach occasion with Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1985, 5 years earlier than his dying.

Still, attempting to straight hyperlink numerous alleged transgressions throughout generations dangers being problematic. Directors Elli Hakami and Julian P. Hobbs nonetheless hold returning to that theme, in addition to extra up to date questions surrounding the “Call Me By Your Name” star and whether or not his profession can get well going ahead.

While questions surrounding Armie Hammer stay comprehensible sources of media fascination and a spotlight, the extent to which these points may be traced to his household historical past serves as a trickier proposition. Perhaps that is why it seems like Discovery+ has constructed “House of Hammer” on a rickety basis.

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

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