Directed by: Jodie Foster
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell
With recent hits like ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ & ‘The Big Short’, Wall Street has been in the cross-hairs for satire. ‘Money Monster’ does not hit the heights of the films mentioned, but it provides some good entertainment with several moments of laughter.
The film focuses on Lee Gates (Clooney), the brash, vibrant presenter of his Investment show, Money Monster. A charismatic TV personality who is just as comfortable dancing on screen as he is presenting! Due to a failed investment tip, one of the companies featured on the show crash in the markets. Leading to one irate shareholder (Jack O’Connell) to take matters into his own hands. The broken investor manages to get into the studio to hold Gates at gunpoint, forcing him to wear an explosive vest. To make things worse, the cameras are forced to keep rolling, broadcasting it across the world. It’s down to Gates’s producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) to keep a calm head and guide Gates in this dangerous situation.
The segments between Clooney & O’Connell in the studio are by far the best segments of the movie. With Gates trying to maintain his composure and trying to reason with the gunman. O’Connell is especially great, playing the role of ‘the desperate man who lost everything’ perfectly. Having Robert communicating with the host via the earpiece was a great touch, which helped build chemistry between the host & producer.
The film had a choice to go down the route of hostage films such as ‘The Taking of Pelham 123”, where the situation is very much real, and anyone could be killed if things flare up. But with this, after a while, you can tell that he won’t go through with his threat, and the film becomes somewhat of a comedy, similar to ‘The Martian’. There are several moments which will genuinely make the audience laugh! One highlight being Gates giving an inspirational speech to the world, to save his life, only for it to fail miserably.
The film is not a classic, the plot does become somewhat dull when the story leaves the studio setting. The shady corporate dealings of the company that lost millions is one of the side plots, but it feels pedestrian when compared to the hostage situation. It’s the cliche story of a corrupt CEO. While the humour is plentiful, people expecting an intense thriller will be not be too pleased. The film won’t live long in the memory once you leave the cinema, but it won’t leave you disappointed.