WHILE IT MAY NOT WIN THE JACKPOT AND BREAK NEW GROUNDS IN THE HOSTAGE DRAMA THRILLER GENRE, IT DOES OFFER A LOT OF THRILLS!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B (3 stars)
George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Jodie Foster’s Money Monster
A movie starring George Clooney (From Dusk Till Dawn, Burn After Reading, Hail, Caesar!), Julia Roberts (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Notting Hill, Charlie Wilson’s War) that’s being directed by Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs, Maverick, Elysium)? Count me in!
With all that talent thrown in to this film, there was no way I could miss Money Monster, Jodie Foster’s latest film in her directing career, she’s already won Hollywood and film enthusiasts movie many times as an actress, hopefully the same effect will happen with her directing. And her film, Money Monster is a good start, it’s no masterpiece or movie that revolutionizes its genre, but it terms of popcorn action entertainment, it’s done well and smart.
Clooney and Roberts’ performances are basically the same types of characters they’ve been playing pretty much throughout their careers but their performances work, the story keeps you guessing, there’s plenty of action, suspense, and twists, and character development. Pretty much this movie has a large handful of things I look for in a good movie.
The film follows financial TV personality, Lee Gates (Clooney) who is the host of the hit show, Money Monster where he makes a living by giving stock advice. It starts off as a typical day at the studio with Lee and his director, Patty Fenn (Roberts) until he is held hostage by a viewer named Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell-Harry Brown, Skins, 300: Rise of an Empire) who lost all his money by following bad advice that Lee gave him during the show.
Upon realizing everyone in the studio have been played for fools, Lee and Patty are left with a choice, give Kyle the answers he needs to uncover the mystery behind his stolen money or Lee leads Kyle to the man who may be responsible for the entire situation, Walt Camby (Dominic West-Chicago, 300, Punisher: War Zone) and make him explain exactly what happened to the money before it’s lights out for Money Monster, with an explosion.
Overall, Money Monster is a thoroughly entertaining thriller that balances characters, plot, and action very well. The best part is the bad guy behind everything isn’t obvious, it would have been so easy to just make Kyle the bad guy and it would probably just come off as a performance similar to John Travolta from The Taking of Pelham 123, I’m glad they didn’t go that route and developed a better mastermind that the audience wouldn’t see coming right away.
Despite not doing much different with their performances, George Clooney and Julia Roberts have very strong chemistry, Clooney as the cocky host of a TV game show, that’s perfect in its own right, you can make Clooney the host of anything and I swear I’ll buy it, EVEN A BATMAN GAME SHOW! Aside from him, Roberts as the TV director, also works and they opposite each other perfectly, Jack O’Connell is great as the man who holds Clooney hostage and you really feel his pain as the plot unfolds.
The film also offers plenty of surprises, twists, and action sequences, you don’t know where exactly the movie goes, people’s hearts get broken, people die, and the ending I honestly didn’t know what to feel, I’ll just leave it at that. The action scenes and gunplay are executed well and the buildup keeps you on your toes, it’s balanced well between strong characters, twists, and action.
Jodie Foster, despite not directing very many projects in her career, she’s definitely on a roll with Money Monster, and I hope she expands her directing style and make her the next big thriller film director. She’s already proven herself as an actress and producer so bring us more directed films Foster, the Best Director Oscar® might become yours one day.
If you like movies that play with your mind while offering popcorn entertainment then you’re the right person to watch Money Monster, it’s thrilling, smart, and full of character and emotion, oh and let’s not forget the Money.