Money Monster

***

Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Money Monster
"An efficiently diverting thriller."

What’s not to like about a cracking, fast-paced thriller with the stellar talents of George Clooney (sweating it out with an explosives vest strapped to his torso) while Julia Roberts as the producer of the TV show he works on tries valiantly to save the day? Well it could have been a bit more suspenseful for a start but the performances of its stars manage to paper over the cracks.

Shot in real time, the drama is played out on live TV. Clooney is Lee Gates, a cable news financial adviser whose lightweight words of “wisdom” about the markets have a ready audience. He is too rich to care about the consequences of his pronouncements. When one of his “fans” takes his advice and then loses all his savings after the stock crashes overnight, the man (Jack O’Connell) decides to exact revenge.

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He manages to infiltrate his way into the studio and takes Gates hostage. The vengeful saver is prepared to blow him up on world-wide television. Roberts is, of course, on hand to whisper instructions in to his earpiece, giving Clooney’s character the psychological edge over his captor.

The film is adept at creating the criss-crossing chaos of the world of TV studio while the real-time device adds elements of tension. Its narrative thrust, however, was probably not helped by having three writers - Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore and Jim Kouf working on the script.

It’s not supposed to be a critique of the financial markets already well covered in such titles as The Big Short. It works on the level of an efficiently diverting thriller, no more, no less.

Reviewed on: 12 May 2016
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A financial TV host and his producer are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor who has lost everything forcefully takes over their studio.
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Director: Jodie Foster

Writer: Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf

Starring: Caitriona Balfe, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Giancarlo Esposito, Jack O'Connell, Dominic West, Condola Rashad, Greta Lee, Dennis Boutsikaris, Chris Bauer, Emily Meade, Grant Rosenmeyer, Aly Mang, Olivia Luccardi, Dante Briggins

Year: 2016

Runtime: 95 minutes

Country: US

Festivals:

Cannes 2016

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