Money Monster, brings the Wall Street world to us in an exciting and amusing way. But like most financial films, this film fails to convey the importance of such circumstances.
In Money Monster, George Clooney plays television personality and finance guru, Lee Gates, who is taken hostage by a young man named Kyle (Jack O’Connell). Kyle discloses to Lee that he lost all of his inheritance on a stock because Lee said this particular stock was safer than a savings account. Kyle wants answers to why this stock lost him so much money. In his mind, Kyle figures that the only way to get his answers, is to hold Lee hostage on live television. And as Lee fears for his life, there is Patty (Julia Roberts), helping him get through it all.
The film takes off with a jolt. In mere minutes, the audience is put into this life or death hostage situation, as Lee is forced to strap a bomb to his chest. As I watched this film, I was invested in these characters and the situation. The performances from these actors are amazing. Though it isn’t a big difference from their usual character choices, Clooney and Roberts deliver superb performances in this film. It has been getting a little old watching Roberts in her usual performances, but I will say that she delivered something different, something worth watching. But it was O’Connell’s portrayal as the broken Kyle, that made me feel things for this film. Along with the actors, I will say that, Jodie Foster’s directing was incredible. I believe she will keep getting better in the future. But performances and directing aside, this film lacked so much, and in so many ways.
I love movies that make you think. Movies that make you start a conversation with someone afterwards. And as I thought about what I had just viewed, I felt empty inside. I’m sure many of you who read this aren’t filthy rich. I know I’m not. So as I contemplated this film, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy about the character of Kyle. In my opinion, we are a Kyle character, a person who could lose thousands on a stock and have very little left to our name. The writers and filmmakers had an opportunity, as well as a duty, to represent the little guy next to the Wall Street Goliaths. However, they failed. As Kyle threatens Lee, there is nothing left to his name. We even begin see his life spiral out of control. But there are no moments that truly defend Kyle. No moments that clear everything up. But as the character of Kyle lacked, this hostage movie became all too familiar. The same “hostage clichés” are getting old. It’s been done in films like John Q and The Inside Man. And to be honest, there was nothing that Money Monster did that set it apart from the others.
I wish Money Monster could have done more with this film. But I will say that it is a good movie. Although it falls short in various places, and could have added more character development, this film is worth watching.
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell
Directed by: Jodie Foster