HOLLYWOOD—I talk about this year after year: where are all the good adult movies! No, I’m not referring to all the Oscar bait that tends to roll out during the fall and winter months, I’m referring to those movies that are made by cinema lovers for cinema lovers. When I first saw the trailer for “Money Monster,” I knew the flick was something special, but after seeing the movie, wow, that was one hell of a ride.
The flick is directed by Oscar-winner Jodie Foster who proves that she is indeed a force to reckon with when it comes to her directorial skills. “Money Monster” has a level of nuance, dramatic staging and intensity that does indeed leave you on ‘the edge of your seat’ from the beginning credits to those final moments. It’s easy to use that tagline and not actually deliver on it, but this dramatic thriller does.
Not only are we looking at a movie helmed by a skilled director, but perhaps two of the biggest names in Hollywood team up again in Oscar-winners George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The chemistry between these two are so palpable; I mean even if you didn’t know they were best friends, you’d think they were from watching this movie.
The plot revolves around an issue that might be quite relatable to all Americans: money. Yes, I think it was a wise decision on the writers to utilize that theme to entice the audience. I mean it’s relatable to all of us. From the very young to the very old, we all have money problems and understanding the world of finance and economics on a global scale is no easy task, just look at “The Big Short.”
Clooney portrays cable TV financial guru Lee Gates who is notorious for dishing out all the goods in the financial arena in his TV show amply titled “Money Monster.” Would I equate, Gates’ character to let’s say a real-life Suzie Orman? Not quite, but you get the gist of what the character is all about. The plummet of IBIS Global Capital’s stock is the root of the drama, as Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) who is mistaken for a delivery man, arrives on set implementing a wave of chaos that plays through the entire movie.
He’s lost a ton of money because of bad advice he received from the financial guru, and he wants answers, otherwise, Gates is going to be blown to pieces on live television. This is where the audience gets that opportunity to see how things play out behind the scenes in the TV world courtesy of Patty Fenn (Roberts), who is Lee’s longtime director. She finds herself having to deal with a situation that she’s never dealt with before, and the intensity and acting caliber that Roberts brings to the character is quite enthralling in my opinion to say the least.
It’s hard to talk about a movie so enjoyable without delivering nuggets pertaining to the plot twists and a few surprises. Just understand “Money Monster’” looks at that thing we call corporate espionage and how all isn’t as it seems in the business arena. We’ve all heard the pay to play regime, and Foster and company utilize that motif to drive the emotions for the viewer as the movie plays out. Lives are indeed at stake, friendships are tested, people that you wouldn’t expect to care about you start to care about, I mean there is a lot going on in this movie, but the pacing is explicitly perfection because of Foster’s timing behind the camera.
“Money Monster” could have turned out to be a complete mess if the pacing moved way too fast or way too slow, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t hurt that the flick understands that a lengthy movie doesn’t always equate a fantastic movie. It finds a way to encapsulate all this drama, the nuances of characters who grow in the midst of a crisis, and most important the notion of money as being the root of all evil into a single 90 minute film.
“Money Monster” is indeed a movie for adults. If you’ve been dying to see a movie that delivers riveting narrative, unique characters and tackles the world of finance in a way that will connect with your emotions that film has arrived.