MONEY MONSTER Review — A Great Investment

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Money Monster ReviewMoney Monster is my kind of movie — talented, proven actors, lofty subject, twisty script and tight direction. But while I immensely enjoyed the film, and think you will too, the one element I anticipated would be its biggest asset turned out to be it’s biggest disappointment. George Clooney, one of my all time favorites, simply does not deliver.

He plays the host of a financial advice show, ala Jim Cramer’s Mad Money. But unlike Cramer, there is no passion in Clooney’s delivery–no energy, no freneticism. Okay, we get that he’s supposed to be burnt out, and just about the only thing keeping him upright is his producer’s (Julia Roberts) promptings over the microphone in his ear. But if he’s the kind of guy who does a booty shake wearing a pimp hat with backup dancers, he might as well try to SELL it. Otherwise, he’s not all that believable as the host of his own glossy show.

That being said, I bought into everything else completely. As you can see from the trailer, Clooney’s character, Lee Gates, has given some bad financial advice, the company he recommended has taken a terrible tumble, and a frustrated investor takes Gates hostage on air, threatening to blow everyone in the studio to kingdom come. At one point, Gates suggests that if everyone who’s watching (and by now it’s just about the entire world), buys some stock in the failed company, the price will go up, and everyone will recoup their investments. “How much is my life worth to you?” Gates asks the world, with the big, deep puppy dog eyes that would put Frankie Feldman to shame. I was ready to pull my cell phone out of my purse and purchase that stock, right there in the theater.

As good as Clooney and Roberts are in this film, kudos also need to be given to the supporting cast, especially Caitriona Balfe, whom we all love as Claire in the Starz hit Outlander. She plays the PR flack for the problematic corporation. And Jack O’Connell, who starred Louis Zamperini in Unbroken is excellent as the kid with the gun and the exploding vest. All play well together under the direction of Jodie Foster, who keeps a tight rain on the production and doesn’t self indulge by drawing everything out — the film is a crisp hour and a half.

All in all, I guess I can forgive George Clooney for his lack of energy. Who am I kidding? I can forgive George Clooney anything.

Rated R

1 Hour 30 Minutes

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MONEY MONSTER Review — A Great Investment

by Lisa Johnson Mandell




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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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