Money Monster isn’t a great film but it will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Jodie Foster directs from a screenplay by Jamie Linden and Alan DiFiore & Jim Kouf, the latter two of which wrote the story.
George Clooney and Julia Roberts headline a cast that also includes Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Denham, Lenny Venito, Chris Bauer, Dennis Boutsikaris, Emily Meade, Condola Rashad, and Aaron Yoo.
Told in real time, George Clooney stars as Lee Gates, the host of Money Monster, a financial television show, while Julia Roberts co-stars as his producer, Patty. Gates appears to be an exaggerated version of Jim Cramer although Cramer would probably never dance on the set to open a show. Clooney created Gates’ personality as the script never called for dancing.
Everything is going well for that day’s taping until a disgruntled investor, Kyle Budwell (O’Connell), shows up on set and hijacks their studio. Millions watch live across the globe as the stand-off becomes tense. Racing against a clock, Lee and Patty have to try and get to the bottom of why Ibis Clear Capital’s stock took a deep dive and lost millions.
Throughout the film, Lee evolves as a character. Early on, people will see him as somebody who is shallow. He might be successful at work but he’s a failure in the eyes of many, including his own. He’s forced to grow up and change as he finds his life being threatened by Kyle. It helps Gates that he’s still able to talk to Patty in the control room via his earpiece.
Kyle lost $60,000 worth of investments and just wants to hold somebody accountable for what happened. He just happened to pick the wrong person to take responsibility for the matter. Moved by his pain, Lee and Patty decide to get do some real journalism and find out where the missing money went. It’s easy to see Kyle as a villain with his antics but all he wants is answers. The real villain is Walt Camby, the CEO of Ibis Clear Capital.
Diane Lester (Balfe) is the Chief Communications Officer of Ibis Clear Capital. She was supposed to be interviewed on the day that Kyle took over the studio. Once she realized the gravity of the situation, she did some investigating of her own.
Friends in real life, Clooney and Roberts’ chemistry shows on screen. While other actors have to work at displaying chemistry on screen, it comes natural for these two.
With global markets that are fast-paced, Money Monster is sure to resonate with viewers everywhere.