Money monster is a surprisingly good thriller that mixes comedy,drama and serious themes together in a really enjoyable, if a bit muddled at times, hour and a half. It’s nowhere near up to par on some of the other thrillers we’ve had this year but it’s certainly a film I recommend.
The film is directed by Jodie Foster and stars Jack O’Connell, George Clooney and Julia Roberts. It’s about Lee gates (Clooney) a TV personality whose show “Money monster” helps people understand the stock market and what they should do with their stocks. The show is over the top with dance numbers and humourus graphics however one viewer (Jack O’Connell) was influenced by Lees show and invested all his money in a stock recommended by Lee himself, only to lose all of it when there is a technical glitch. To tell the world how much of a scam “Money monster” and the stocks are, he goes to the studio and holds Lee hostage on LIVE Tv with a gun and a bomb vest (with a deadlock switch). The film mostly takes place inside the studio and that is where it shines but every so often it delves into the police outside and the company who O’Connell invested in, it’s there that some traction is lost. From George Clooney’s opening dance number to Julia Roberts actually directing the show and the hostage situation simultaneously every scene inside the studio is great.
Julia Roberts plays the director of the show and is secretly walking Lee through the situation and I feel like for the first time in quite some time she played her role really well. She perfectly conveyed the amount of panic and seriousness needed for the situation but while still keeping the directors head on, which i can only imagine someone would do if they were suddenly the most watched channel in the world. Clooney stood out as the best in a great cast, he was always entertaining to watch and I don’t think many other actors could have played that role like he did. Hail Caesar was the first Clooney film this year and in that he played a similar character, it’s one that I feel is very suited for him. He felt at home playing an obnoxious TV host, I think it helps that in real life he’s a similar character, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as that’s why people love him (me included). Jack O’Connell again was great, all of his roles after skins have proven to show why he is one of the best British up and coming actors at the moment. He never fails to show the audience how broken he is and how his character really is on his last resort. Now while the main cast are great the majority of the supporting cast are poor. No one is particularly good at conveying distress, all of the police come across as unimportant and incapable and the film probably would have had the same impact if we’d have seen nothing of what’s happening inside the police themselves. The same goes for the rest of the cast, everyone outside the police force is not really important yes there are a couple of key characters but I can’t help but feel if we’d have just been given the perspective of Lee, and not left that, the film would have been more intense and some big reveals may have had more of an effect.
The directing in this film is pretty good, Jodie Foster does a great job in the director’s chair and proves she’s not just a one trick pony. Nothing feels particularly rushed like “The darkness” did and she really did the best she could with what she had to work with. Which leads nicely on the biggest issue with the film, the script. In all honesty the plot for this film is ridiculous, it relies on the audience to stretch their imagination (like any good film should do) and there are lots of things especially near the end that would never have ever even come close to happening in the real world. But once you’ve suspended belief and just enjoy the film for what it is you will see how much fun it is. The dialogue is generally quite good as well, some interesting speeches and humourous lines all contributed to what made the film great. But where the script really let’s the film down is the subplots, random events that didn’t really need to be shown at all and dragged down the overall impact of the studio scenes. I didn’t need to see one of the non sequential sound engineers use erectile cream for a joke or see the issues the police were having (who are consistently brought in but forgot about in the last act). None of these random storylines were essential to the story and really just served as a way to give the audience a break from the studio scenes but this break wasn’t at all necessary. There’s also multiple plot holes throughout the film but for spoiler reasons I won’t go into them. While outside the studio is a disappointment it still doesn’t effect how brilliant the in studio drama is and when George Clooney comes into his stride about midway through the film, it becomes incredibly entertaining to watch.
By the end of the film you’re happy with the conclusion and the film itself, you should have accepted it’s ridiculousness and just had some fun with it. While this film is nothing special it is something that I really enjoyed and would be more than happy to watch again. However I think it was really made by its cast and had the same characters been played by a different cast I probably would have not enjoyed it as much. While not perfect it’s very enjoyable and a solid Clooney film
Written by Dawson Roberts
Release date – May 27th 2016
Directed By- Jodie Foster
Written By- Lara Alameddine, George Clooney, Daniel Dubiecki, Grant Heslov
Produced By- Alan Di FioreJim KoufJamie Linden