“The name is Lee Gates, the show is Money Monster. Without risk, there is no reward.”
As an emotionally charged Springsteen songs plays in the background, George Clooney and Julia Roberts, who’s chemistry is wonderful to watch, both deliver strong performances in the well made and powerful film, Money Monster. Oh wait, that was the trailer. The trailer in which the only good scenes and lines are spliced together to give the allusion that Money Monster is the next great film. But the trailer is all smoke and mirrors and in reality, Money Monster is a monster disappointment.
Money Monster is the story of a day in the taping of the fictional financial show Money Monster that goes horribly wrong when Kyle, an investor who lost everything after buying stock in a company that host Lee Gates recommend, takes over the studio. Kyle forces Gates to into a wired vest and locks the studio door, taking everyone hostage. And he does this all the while being broadcast on live tv as the world watches. These could be the actions of a terrorist, yet as the film wears on, Lee converses extensively with Kyle, working to get him answers and ultimately siding and creating a bond with the man who just before was holding a gun to his head. Money Monster is an interesting mix of exciting thriller and political statement.
One would just assume from the pairing of Julia Roberts, George Clooney and director Jodie Foster that Money Monster would be a great success but it completely misses the mark. First, the storyline isn’t very plausible and as it progresses, it becomes too far fetched which takes away value from what might have been a powerful story. Second, Money Monster failed to bring any emotions to the table and there was no connection between the film and the audience. Lastly Money Monster appeared to have a political agenda and Hollywood once again took stabs at the wealthy. Though it had substantial potential to, Money Monster lacked depth and sincere emotion.
At the end of Money Monster, everyone seems to pity Kyle and it seems that the filmmakers wanted audiences to sympathize with him as well. It appears that Kyle was supposed to be the victim. This is absolutely ridiculous because who was holding the gun? It’s unfair that he lost his money but that certainly doesn’t justify hijacking a studio and taking hostages. When the gun and bomb wielders start being confused for the victims there is a serious problem.
Money Monster isn’t a hard movie to sit through and it provides some entertainment but it supplies no desire for a second viewing. It was one of my most anticipated films of this year and disappointed is an understatement. The acting is solid and Jodie Foster’s directing is fine but that’s about it. The storyline is messy and the focus is too much on making a political statement rather than making a good film.