Events happen fast in today’s world. While many of you already know this, you could make the argument it is not the events but our attention spans. Everything seems to be about what is next and the ‘now’ leaving little thought to the ‘then’. Blame this on the 24 hr. news networks or even the Internet whatever it may be, it makes you wonder if we will learn from our past mistakes when they were not so far away. I start this review with this thought because of the new film “Money Monster”, a film with the perfect title that is about you guessed it, money.
Lee Gates (George Clooney) is one of those guys who tells you what stocks to pick while doing a dog and pony show on TV. While there are not actually any dogs or ponies involved, there might as well be once you see Gates and his show. Today is a normal day, Gates is setting dinner plans, as his director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) tries to get the final details of the show together before they hit the air. The show starts off with a hiccup, as the guest they wanted could not make it, but little does everyone know that things are about to get a lot worse. Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) is someone who is quite angry at the “system” and sets out to air his complaints by violent means. Kyle sneaks into the studio and proceeds to take Gates hostage, demanding the truth behind a recent loss he took in the stock market. He wasn’t only seeking answers for himself he believes everyone should know. Only Gates can give him the truth he is looking for, but can he do so before it is to late.
With a cast of Clooney, Roberts, and O’Connell things are starting off pretty nicely for this film. The good thing is they don’t just show up, as all three give good solid performances. Add on top of that the direction of Jodie Foster, you have the makings of what looks like it could be a pretty good film. While the film does not reach the heights you think it could hit, it never goes into the disappointment zone. Filmed in what looks like real time, there is just enough tension and desire to know the outcome to keep your interest, but to me the film has another strength. Foster, and writers Jamie Linden, Alan DiFlore, and Jim Kouf create a story that feels very much like a social commentary on where we are as a society. As the events unfold in the studio, the world is watching, as Foster shows in different settings around the world. The attention that is paid while it all unfolds it what you expect, as well as the result when it is all over. Everything from memes to moving on to the next thing speaks as much about any other part of the story. “Money Monster” is one of those movies that is good enough to enjoy but not great enough to love. With a great cast and steady direction, it is definitely worth the investment.