Money Monster (2016) – Follow the Money

“Money Monster” is like a hat-trick such as “Wall Street”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and “The Big Short”. It’s one of those movies about economics and late capitalism but has the authenticity and uniqueness of each other. Unlike these films, Jodie Foster managed to balance the right satire comedy elements but was also inseparable from the thriller element. Yes, a dark comedy thriller on its situation. It’s about the economic crisis, the influence of the media, a liar corporate. Throwing lots of complicated jargon, but the real point isn’t about the economy itself. Rather, Foster wants to explore the financial system as a capitalist media which is merely a business of entertainment.

This film mocks all of them, one of which is the social media culture, society, and economic of apathetic commoners. George Clooney is Lee Gates, a host of a show named Money Monster. He is so eccentric. His word isn’t as representative of anything. Speaking about the financial world and giving investment tips, Lee is like a clown. With strangely costumes and mascot, sexy dancers and sound effects, talk carelessly but Lee isn’t nothingness.

Money Monster has a high rating, no surprise Clooney could do that, like how his previous movies always cast as an idiot. I’m talking about Coen brothers. But, Clooney cannot act arbitrarily if there is Julia Roberts as Patty Fenn. She was the director and executive producer, trying to direct Lee from the behind. Not only providing material, but Patty also holds the control as much as possible so he doesn’t ramble unclearly.

In the midst of the filming process, a young truck driver, Jack O’Connell as Kyle, the man with temperament and explosion, join into the show. He carried a jacket fitted with a bomb, forcing Lee to wear the jacket. This also doesn’t stop the event because if it doesn’t happen live on TV, then Kyle will press the trigger. So, all this happened when the broadcast took place, aired all over America and the world.

The movie initially focused on financial elements that were rather ridiculous but not as ridiculous as “The Big Short” or “The Wolf of Wall Street”. The movie, for me, is like “Network” where a company exploits its victim into a circus and entertainment show. However, “Money Monster” is the opposite of the Sidney Lumet direction. The trigger for all these events is O’Connell as Kyle after all the characters and audiences suspect that Lee is just a gimmick. There is an intense at this point. First is the bomb detonator. Second is exploitation of the character, where at first we believed Kyle was an antagonist but apparently not.

We got Kyle and many female characters controlling these events but we don’t want to go into such things deeply. I just want to focus on Kyle as Foster’s main plot. Kyle is a viewer of the Money Monster program, swallowing the tips on buying IBIS shares. They say that investment is the only safe way than saving your money. Kyle risked his savings but lost everything. What he now needs is an explanation of the “glitch” he really hates and Dominic West as Walt Camby has to explain what is meant by an algorithm.

“Money Monster” isn’t that really complex when you just want to watch a thriller but also at the same time learn a lot about finance. Not like that. It sounds ridiculous if the only reason a thriller was interesting is because of a hostage drama. If only you want to digest the element in its entirety, there are thousands of “reasons” when you want to see it from a different perspective. Foster builds intensity slowly but surely, the displacement and transition from one to another point of view, and sets in a dynamic control room.

This movie is like a race against time but you never know how or why the time killed and blew up the bomb. There is Giancarlo Esposito, a police leader who does everything possible to solve this problem. From persuasion to negotiation, nothing works. “Money Monster” has its own characterization, changing the situation from good to bad or vice versa instantly. However, the movie is stuck with its comical elements, especially the third act seems predictable. There are also clear conclusions, but the comedy almost ruined these moments. But, the third act reminds me of another Sidney Lumet’s works, “Dog Day Afternoon”.

“Money Monster” is a decent hostage drama, not as threatening, but doesn’t flog a corporate corruption, leaving a not-sharp premise. However, these elements went very smoothly because of Jodie Foster. Simple yet instance, takes us to the streets of New York, to become a witness and the resolution of the incident. Sounds silly, right? It’s not really about economic but often keeps you on the edge of your seat.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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