MONEY MONSTER sprints through a smart 99 minutes, directed with precision by Jodie Foster in a style and energy reminiscent of Sidney Lumet’s edgy urban thrillers from the 70s. Confident entertainment from 2016.
“Okay, here we go. Are you listening? Are you paying attention out there? Good. Because it’s about to get complicated, so I’m gonna start out slow and make it nice and simple for you. You don’t have a clue where your money is. See, once upon a time, you could walk into your bank, and they’d open a vault and point to a gold brick. Not anymore. Your money – that thing that you bust your ass for – it’s nothing more than a few photons of energy traveling through a massive network of fiber optic cables.”
TV financial guru/ flashy hawkmeister ‘Lee Gates’ (George Clooney) has his live show interrupted by a man with a mission. ‘Kyle Budwell’ (Jack O’Connell) has a gun, a bomb and a major grudge going, having lost a bundle in a stock ‘glitch’ trumpeted by Gates’ b.s. broadcast advice. ‘Patty Fenn’, the show’s director (Julia Roberts), must keep the cameras running and key personnel on hand while Kyle fulminates and demands an answer—or he’ll press a button. The police show up, waiting for a shot, a worldwide audience tunes in, delighted by the combination of farce, fraud, friction and fright.
It follows established beats for such a plotline, and it isn’t hard to see how it’ll end up, but the financial sophistry angle is ever-timely, the cast most capable, the script brisk and Foster’s direction spot-on. Editing is really tight.
Made for $31,400,000, it took in $93,300,000 and tipped decent reviews. Written by Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore and Jim Kouf. With Catriona Balfe, Dominic West, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Denham, Lenny Venito and Emily Meade (great scorch-down scene).
Anyone who puts faith in those clowns like Jim Cramer and Neil Cavuto deserves to lose their shirt. You may as well send your check to evangelists. Better yet, send it to me. Really, I have on good authority, from a guy who knows the guy that met the guy…..