Thursday, 2 June 2016


Sony Pictures

Even before all the pennies drop and the cards revealed in the thriller Money Monster, Jodie Foster's fourth foray behind the camera as director, most people will already be on the side of Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell), the gun wielding man who takes a New York TV station hostage live on air.

Kyle is venting his frustrations at both the network's on-air financial adviser, Lee Gates (George Clooney), and Ibis Clear Capital, the corporation which lost all of his savings when they experienced a"glitch" which wiped out $800 million of shareholders' money. Kyle is understandably angry, both at Lee for promising viewers that the stock was a safe bet, and at the company's leaders (including Dominic West), who refuse to provide any more solid explanation for the loss.

Of course, not everything is as it seems. And as events unfold in real time (with a fudge here and there), Gates's producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts), ever-present in her host's earpiece, works feverishly to get to the bottom of the mysterious glitch while keeping things in the studio from escalating.

Thriller, Wall Street smack down and (social) media commentary, Money Monster may not always successfully marry its genres but it's never less than entertaining; Clooney, Roberts and O'Connell (with a persuasive New Yawk accent) are all very good.

And while it would be easy to dismiss the film's attempts at post-GFC moralising -- especially given the presence of two of Hollywood's 1 percent-ers -- there's enough drama and tension (and humour) to ensure audiences are suitably rewarded for their investment.

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