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Director: Jodie Foster
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts & Jack O’Connell
Synopsis: Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes over their studio.
Rating: 15 Duration: 99 minutes Release date: 3 October (UK)

Taking aim at the 2008 stock market crash is Jodie Foster’s Money Monster. While not directly dealing with said events from eight years ago, Money Monster cuts a tale of woe as down on his luck blue-collar worker Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) loses his life savings due to bad investment and then hijacks the very show that had originally made the “hot-tip” to invest in IBIS Capital. Live on air and having taken the Money Monster host; Lee Gates (Clooney) hostage Kyle finds himself in an impossible situation and one he knows he may not get out of.

In Kyle Budwell, the audience has a character like so many people we all see everyday. He works to live and lives to work, just able to keep his head above water while the TV execs and money men swan around in expensive suits telling us all how to live our lives. But what do we do when we take that advice and it goes badly wrong? How many of us seek out the truth and push for real answers instead of some PR spin? Well, that’s what Kyle wants and to do so he sneaks onto the set of expert financial show Money Monster. But, even with a gun in hand and explosives attached to George Clooney’s torso, coming by answers is harder than thought.

Jodie Foster is now on her fourth film as director and seems to have taken her cue here from her time spent with Spike Lee on Inside Man. Foster shares a similar style and tries to evoke the same type of sweaty tension from events that Lee does so well. And while her ambitions are lofty, Foster doesn’t quite reach the heights she is aiming for. That’s not to say that Money Money doesn’t succeed, because it does, but it just isn’t as smart as it likes to think it is.

Re-uniting Oceans 11 alumni George Clooney and Julia Roberts was a smart idea, and even though they rarely actually share a scene together there is a clear chemistry between the two. They know each other well enough to make their relationship and barely there friendship feel real, while never masking the fact they clearly enjoy each others company. Jack O’Connell continues his rise as an actor to keep your eye on and does well to be both sympathetic and indifferent, because while his situation is terrible, how is it different to that of you and me?

Money Monster is never a bad film, in fact, it is quite enjoyable. Even if you put aside the political and financial issues of the film, Money Monster is an engaging thriller that has plenty to keep you entertained. Neither is it a great film, and to be fair it sits right down the middle; entertaining enough, but given its context, never rises above the crowd to be anything more.

Extras:

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  • Deleted Scenes
  • George Clooney: The Money Man
  • Inside the Pressure Cooker
  • Analysis of a Scene: The Showdown
  • Dan The Automator Music Video

Film: 3/5
Extras: 3/5

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