Movie Review: “Money Monster”

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When you think of classic movie stars, you think of Clark Gable or Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart. For the ladies, there was Ava Gardner or Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. These days, when I think of classy movie stars that I’ll get to tell my grandchildren about someday, are the likes of George Clooney and Julia Roberts, who are tag teaming it again in the new Jodie Foster film, “Money Monster.”

George Clooney plays Lee Gates, host of the finance show, “Money Matters,” where he gives advice on the stock market and other financial matters. But, when Kyle Budwell, a viewer and working citizen loses everything based on Gates’ advice linked with Ibis Clear Capital, he decides to take matters into his own hands, by crashing the set of Gates’ show and holding him hostage with a gun pointed to his head. Throughout the movie, Gates’ producer and Julia Roberts’ character, Patty Fenn, has to walk him through the situation, careful not to crack the eggshells, or in this case, cause the bomb to go off. It’s obvious that they have a history together, and because of their close-knit bond, they are able to get through just about anything, including when a crazy guy runs through the studio with a gun. Clooney and Roberts hold this film and their real-life friendship helps pull the overall story together.

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While the movie has suspenseful and intense moments, I wouldn’t exactly call it a dramatic thriller. It has a great screenplay and great acting chops, of course. But, the strong language (the f-word is dropped 50 times – no I didn’t count, my family and I looked it up prior to and the Lord’s name was used in vain more than I cared to count) wasn’t always necessary. It just seemed like filler to make it more dramatic than what was actually happening on screen.

I’d say this is more of a psychological suspense at play here. At first glance, Clooney’s character isn’t likable, and you can understand why Budwell is upset. But, slowly, you start to see that is part of his charm. In calming Budwell down and saving his own life, Gates seems to question his own purpose in life and what his life actually matters to anyone else out there, especially given the circumstance. But, while these things are hinted at, there isn’t much room for exploration in the characters or larger storyline – their backgrounds are really up for a guess, especially seeing as the film only takes place over the span of one day, where you’d typically get to see more from other supporting characters and settings.

I think by Hollywood standards, reviewers would consider this disappointing, and maybe it is a tad predictable, but overall, I was impressed. But, don’t let me sway you one way or another…Go see for yourself and let me know what you think.

That’s all for now,

Shelby

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