12 June 2016 | davideo-2
Increasingly preposterous, but still a fairly rattling thriller
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
Lee Gates (George Clooney) is the brash, arrogant presenter of financial show the Money Monster, which offers advice on how best to invest your savings. Aided by his forthright producer Patty (Julia Roberts), he starts the day with a typically extroverted show-until an uninvited intruder named Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell) hijacks the show, and demands Gates be held to account for some bad advice he offered that resulted in Budwell losing all his money. As the hostage situation intensifies, the two men find the cause of both their problems may be events happening much further down the chain.
Jodie Foster steps back behind the camera for this timely tale, involving corporate greed and the fallout. Setting the themes of monetary hardship and retribution against the template of a standard real time thriller, of the type they used to make really well in the '90s, Money Monster has a fairly genuine air of suspense about it, and plays out in a manner you may not expect it to, although it's still fairly flawed as a film , and is certainly not as much in this vein as it could be.
It's all going rather swimmingly, playing out in a fairly standard, connect the dots manner from one hostage situation cliché to another, almost as if it's coming from the rule book for such films, but nonetheless keeping you on the seat edge wondering how it's going to play out. Then as there seems to be some resolution, it all goes pear shaped and descends into an overblown and fairly nonsensical final showdown with CEO Walt Camby (Dominic West) and his cohort Diane Lester (Caitriona Balfe) that loses it some credibility.
Performances wise, as the leading man, Clooney assumes the older statesman role, looking older and greyer than his heartthrob days, but gaining a little more conviction as a result. Meanwhile, as the protagonist, O'Connell manages a fairly good Queens accent and is a pleasing coy to Clooney. With a support cast of the likes of Roberts, West and Lester, you certainly have star power, and about the same script power too, until the end. ***