Money has become nothing more than a series of 1s and 0s flowing through computers. Just a stream of data, zipping through the ether – at least until a ‘glitch’ hits the network.
Lee Gates (George Clooney) is the OTT host of a stock market daily tip show, introducing his hyped up suggestions with ridiculous bump’n’grind dances, entertaining the masses with a larger than life personality, and generally making his producer Patty’s (Julia Roberts) life difficult. But Lee’s life is about to get a whole lot more difficult, too: when his ‘safer than the bank’ stock plummets, wiping $800 million of bits off that computer data, one unlucky investor shows up in the studio. He has a gun, and he wants answers.
Money Monster is a taut, realistic drama. There is action and sooo much tension, but it never blows into melodrama. There are also a surprising number of laughs – again, in a realistic way, arising without set up and eliciting real belly-laughs from the unsuspecting audience.
The performances are excellent, particularly Clooney, willing to make himself a rather sad and ridiculous case. His platonic chemistry with Roberts is lovely to watch: a mature (well…!) working relationship, no silly romance shoe-horned in. Jack O’Connell rounds out the main trio, playing the lost and ruined gunman hit by one blow too many in a life already full of failure.
There’s nothing extra-flashy – save the cast list, perhaps – here, nothing shoved into the story to make it ‘more exciting’ in the Hollywood way. Props to director, Jodie Foster, for a keen eye for the reality of a story being all that’s really needed.
Released: 27th May 2016
Viewed: 27th May 2016
Running time: 98 minutes
My rating: 7/10