Thursday, May 12, 2016

Money Monster Review - 2½ Stars

“Money Monster” has the advantage of wonderful casting. George Clooney plays a smug financial cable TV host who dances & shouts and wears funny hats, as he plugs hot stock tips which sometimes work out and sometimes don’t. The voice of reason in his earpiece is not his conscience, but rather his director/producer Julia Roberts, who often uses code words to encourage him to dial it back and get to the next topic. Jodi Foster directs this thriller with her usual competence. Things turn from lively to life-threatening, when struggling package delivery man Jack O’Connell bursts onto the set with a gun and vest bomb he demands Clooney wear. O’Connell has taken one of those stock tips and lost everything, and now wants answers. The hostage situation on live TV certainly gives “Money Monster” a jolt and creates real tension. Finding the answer to O’Connell’s demands opens a mystery surrounding CEO Dominick West. As the drama plays out, the situation turns a little too contrived. For all of its star power and hostage situation tension, “Money Monster” speeds to a fizzle at the end. “Money Monster” has great scenes, funny moments, star power, and taps into the current rage against Wall Street and the wealthy elite. It raises good questions, but doesn’t quite answer them. Does it deliver what it promises? Stars and a tension filled plot. Is it entertaining? Yes, although several plot points feel contrived. Is it worth the price of admission? Yes. Go for the entertainment, and don’t expect anything beyond.