Ben Oliver

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Money Monster

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.
16 February 2017

Jodie Foster directs this drama about a cable TV money show whose host (George Clooney) is taken hostage live on air. The world watches as the situation unfolds.

The story kicks off when a financial firm, IBIS loses $800m on the stock market due to a computer glitch. A man gets a gun and a bomb, walks onto a live TV set and demands answers, because he lost all his money.

This all happens in the first 15 minutes, so how does one go about making it last another hour and a half? The answer is, ‘with difficulty’. There are attempts to inject some back story into the hostage taker (Jack O’Connell) and make us understand what it truly means to be working class in New York. These backfire, making us even less sympathetic to his cause while telegraphing the rest of the plot for us, almost by mistake. I guarantee you will audibly sigh as your deepest fears about where the plot is going are confirmed.

Just take everything you know about the real world and put it to one side because even The Lego Batman Movie required you to suspend your disbelief less than this. The two actually share a common trait - all the characters are plastic. Between Clooney’s TV host, Jack O’Connell’s ‘angry working class’ hostage taker, Julia Roberts as the director whispering in George’s ear & Dominic West as the evil CEO, not one character seems anything more than two dimensional.

Pair the insane liberal wet dream of a plot with some cringe worthy attempts at satire and you’ve pretty much got the measure of Money Monster. Good as light entertainment, but overall a surprisingly stupid film.

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