Starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Dominic West, Catriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito
and Lenny Venito
Directed by Jodie Foster
Paul Gibbs & Patrick Gibbs
Jodie Foster the director is much like Jodie Foster accepting a Golden Globe: she certainly has something to say, but it would be sufficient to say it just once, and she should avoid going off on tangents or drinking before hand.
Money Monster is her first attempt at a commercial thriller, and she proves quite capable in the genre. But it's an uneven film full of parts that don't always mesh together, and it's not nearly as thought provoking as it wants to be.
Money Monster alternates between thriller and satire, and it pulls off the former better than the latter. Foster's direction is taut and well-paced, though for the first half of the film our lack of empathy for Gates makes it hard to feel the tension. But when it kicks into gear, this is an effective suspense film. But as a satire, it's a mix of being too heavy-handed and not having enough to say, and occasionally it veers off into comic relief tangents that don't really work. The preachiness would be easily excused if the film were more insightful, but it never seems to really get there, settling instead for obvious conclusions and simple solutions.
In the end, Money Monster falls far short of the classics it emulates ( in particular Dog Day Afternoon) and fails to be the searing indictment of the American financial system it wants to be. But it's a solidly entertaining and well constructed thriller bolstered by strong performancee from a stellar cast, and there's something inherently refreshing in this day and age about seeing a grown up, light on the FX, actor-driven movie released in the summer.
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