Money Monster was directed by Jodie Foster and written by Jamie Linden, Alan Di Fiore and Jim Kouf. It’s the story of Lee Gates ( George Clooney ) a wisecracking stock-based TV show host, who’s been taken hostage by Kevin ( Jack O’Connell ), victim of Gates’ false predictions.
Lee isn’t a bad guy, but I wouldn’t call him a saint either. He’s obssesed with the almighty dollar, so much so he’s making it by telling other people how to make it. Definately a millionaire. Despite everything, he is a charming individual ( he’s George Clooney for Christ sake ) and it’s hard to genuinally hate the guy.
So one day he’s doing his show like he would any other and this guy walks in called Kevin, he puts a gun to his head and a bomb to his chest. Kevin let’s go of a button – KABOOM! They all die. Now this would be a perfectly exceptional plotline, if only Kevin had any actual menace to him, which he does not.
By the way, here’s the big catch to everything – everything is being brodcaster on live TV, and Lee’s crew is not allowed to leave the set, or risk being shot or blown up. Speaking to Lee during the happning’s, is his colleague Patty ( Julia Roberts ). Well acted performance that ultimately only adds a small layer to the overall film.
While Lee is busy trying not to die, police Captain Powell ( Giancarlo Esposito ) is doing everything he can trying to find a solution to the hostage crisis above. It just makes him angry.
There’s also this sideplot about a missing CEO in South Africa, but believe me it’s predictable as hell and doesn’t add much suspense whatsoever.
To be fair, Money Monster did have good elements to it. It was decently paced, had a good story, and well acted in most places, though would’ve benefited from more Clooney scenes, and less “fat” around the edges.
Ultimately the films main problem is it’s lack of ability to portray Kevin as a genuine threat. Instead of feeling like a Hannibal Lector, or a David ‘Bill’ Carradine, or a whatever other villains you hold high, O’Connell failed to deliver the level performance the film needed. Ibstead of being on par with one of the previously mentioned characters, he came off as a guy who’s just really angry, pretty much 1 dimensional and not convinced of what he wants. 6/10.
By reading this article, you’re supporting the TSJ community, thank you!