Movie Review: Money Monster (2016)

Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell

Directed by: Jodie Foster

Lee Gates is an arrogant TV financial advisor who hosts the show Money Monster where he advises regular working class people which stocks will provide the best return for their investment. After promoting tech firm IBIS which then mysteriously busts and costs many people a truck load of money, one irate investor, Kyle Budwell, gatecrashes the show and holds everybody hostage until the truth is revealed.

I’ve said this before and I will reiterate the point that I mentioned in my review of Michael Clayton. George Clooney is one the biggest movie stars of the last 25 years but a lot of his movies and performances are very mediocre. Time and time again I’ve gotten myself excited to watch a Clooney movie and time and time again I leave with a poor taste in my mouth. Off the top of my head I can name about a half dozen movies that I’ve seen him in which have been rated relatively highly that have been a complete bust for me. Movies such as Solaris, The American, Syriana, The Men Who Stare at Goats and Burn After Reading have all been a below average movie experience but despite the amount of failures he has I will always give a Clooney movie a chance as he can produce some brilliant displays of acting at times in some excellent movies such as The Perfrect Storm, From Dusk Till Dawn and The Ides of March.

Thankfully this particular Clooney performance in Money Monster leaned more towards the high quality side of things as he was at times superb as TV financial advisor Lee Gates. This role really shows how charismatic George Clooney can be but as well as showing his natural flare and charisma there is also a lot of depth to the his character which slowly seeps out of him as the hostage situation he finds himself in gets more complicated. The hostage taker, Kyle Budwell, is played by the excellent Jack O’Connell and I truly believe he will be a huge star in a couple of years. He already has an impressive track record with some exceptional performances under his belt and as he long as he continues on the path he is on he will be a force to be reckoned with within Hollywood. Once again he impresses in this role although at times his American accent did falter at times.

Julia Roberts also featured in this movie as she played Lee Gates’ producer Patty Fenn and she produces an outstanding job as she so often does. The story was solid and the script was extremely well written and the longer the movie went on the more intense and thrilling it became.

While the story was decent and was told very well I still feel that it was a predictable outcome which is all about greed and corruption. There was a slight lack of originality to be had and I think the ending didn’t really provide the shocks that I was hoping for. Also, this movie took place as a live broadcast which was showing the hostage situation to the world, as the movie concluded and the broadcast went off the air there was a moment that was shot of the viewers returning to their lives and what they were doing before being sucked into the news story and one scene in particular was of a couple guys returning to their game of foosball an that should’ve been the concluding scene of the entire movie but instead they went with a scene in the hospital where George Clooney and Julia Roberts shared a ‘moment’.

Overall, Money Monster was a very enjoyable watch as it boasted some impressive performances from its leading cast members. While the story wasn’t exactly an original one it was still told very well. Certainly worth checking out.


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