Two ex-government agents turned rival industrial spies have to be at the top of their game when one of their companies prepares to launch a major product. However, they distract each other in more ways than one.
In the real-time, high stakes thriller Money Monster, George Clooney and Julia Roberts star as financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty, who are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor who has lost everything (Jack O'Connell) forcefully takes over their studio. During a tense standoff broadcast to millions on live TV, Lee and Patty must work furiously against the clock to unravel the mystery behind a conspiracy at the heart of today's fast-paced, high-tech global markets.Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
This movie reunites Julia Roberts and Dominic West. The first was Mona Lisa Smile (2003). See more »
Walt Camby was said to have been flying home in a Gulfstream Five but instead was shown to have flown back in a Gulfstream Four. You can tell by the non painted Gulfstream engine section. See more »
Okay, here we go. Are you listening? Are you paying attention out there? Good. Because it's about to get complicated, so I'm gonna start out slow and make it nice and simple for you. You don't have a *clue* where your money is. See, once upon a time, you could walk into your bank, and they'd open a vault and point to a gold brick. Not anymore. Your money - that thing that you bust your ass for - it's nothing more than a few photons of energy traveling through a massive network of ...
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I gotta admit that I have had a "man crush" on George Clooney for quite some time - probably dating back to his days on ER. I loved his screen "coming out party" OUT OF SIGHT (an under-rated gem, check it out). I thought he was terrific in THE PERFECT STORM, said he should have won the Oscar for MICHAEL CLAYTON and was glad to float around space with him and Sandra Bullock in GRAVITY. However, I have been disappointed in him lately from 2014's MONUMENTS MEN to 2015's TOMORROWLAND to the worst movie of 2016 HAIL, CAESAR, I began to wonder if he was "losing it".
I'm happy to report that MONEY MONSTER shows that he still has it. Starring as Cable Money Show host Lee Gates, Clooney is the perfect embodiment of the "empty suit with a smile" on TV spouting clichés and loud attention grabbing snippets while really saying, essentially, nothing. It is the perfect role for him. The story centers around a disgruntled worker (UNBROKEN'S Jack O'Connell) who took Gates at his word and invested his entire life savings in one of his investment suggestions. When that investment tanks, Gates gets taken hostage live on the air. Aided by his intrepid producer (Julia Roberts), Gates needs to "get real" to get out of this situation.
Sounds like a good premise, right? And it is and as performed by Clooney, Gates and Roberts (more on her later), this had the makings of an interesting hostage drama with a cautionary tale of our voyeuristic tendencies of watching tragedy unfold on live TV. Unfortunately, MONEY MONSTER isn't that interested in that story. It tacks on a conspiracy plot by the tanking company led by a smiling, well-coiffed CEO that has "nothing to hide" that just screams "I HAVE EVERYTHING TO HIDE". As played by Dominic West, all this CEO was missing was tying the girl to the train tracks and twirling his mustache.
Professionally directed by Jodie Foster, I was excited for this movie and the scenes in the studios between Clooney and Roberts (reunited for the first time since OCEAN'S 11 and 12). The scenes between these two had a spark in them that I haven't seen from Clooney in a long time - I credit Roberts (and Foster) for enabling Clooney to bring his A (or maybe his A-) game. As far as Roberts is concerned, I think she is having a career renaissance (check out her work in last year's THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES). It was fun to watch these two veterans chew the scenery with each other. These two are surrounded by some fun characters in the TV studio, especially "that guy" character actor Lenny Venito as the lead cameraman and Christopher Dehnham as a beleaguered producer who is given all the "crap" jobs to do. The interplay between them all are fun and it sets up an interesting world that I want to spend time in. And when the gunman crashes the party, I was interested.
Unfortunately, where this movie doesn't succeed is when it decides to move away from the studio and it's interesting characters and focus on a generic Corporation with generic characters that is hiding a generic conspiracy. And that's too bad, for Director Foster and Writer Jamie Linden waste some really good talent - most notably the Police Captain played by Giancarlo Esposito and a corporate flunky played by the always slimy Dennis Boutsikaris who all but disappears from this film after the 1/3 portion. They had the makings of a really good, really interesting film, but, instead turned it into a decent and watchable entertainment that shows us what true "MOVIE STARS" George Clooney and Julia Roberts still are.
6 1/2 (out of 10) stars, but I'll tack on 1/2 more stars for the re-emergence of Clooney and Roberts, so "officially" a 7 (out of 10) starred movie and you can take that to the Bank (of Marquis)
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