Money Monster (2016)

Money Monster poster.png
Monstrous Business

Director: Jodie Foster
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Dominic West, Giancarlo Esposito, Caitriona Balfe

With her latest directorial feature, Jodie Foster manages to successfully tap into the ever-relevant anger at the CEOs who make a profit, while the everyman suffers. Granted, there's little said about big business which is new information, but what's put across is well told, without the threat of melodrama.

As the host of financial advice series Money Monster, TV guru Lee Gates (George Clooney) is in the midst of airing the latest episode alongside longtime director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts). The situation becomes extreme when Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell) forcefully takes over, armed with a gun and an explosive vest. The victim of an investment turned sour, Kyle wants answers as to how a sure-fire investment resulted in an $800 million loss.

George Clooney acts in his element, inhabiting the role with a charisma which comes as naturally as breathing, playing the hotshot put in a difficult situation. It's his best role in years, which is a compliment that can also be put Julia Roberts' way. Despite the two not sharing the screen, there's a clear chemistry between the two, hinting at a history which is easily noticeable, and utterly believable.

Jack O'Connell's gunman is a character we can sympathise with. He's been wronged in a large way, and he merely wants answers as to how it happened. One rarely gets the impression he'll genuinely pull the trigger and cause danger for his hostages, which is effective, as he's clearly somebody in over their head. He's somebody with a short fuse, seeking answers through the most extreme of methods. All of which is preferable to Dominic West's one note antagonist.

The real star of the picture is director Jodie Foster, showcasing with ease how her talents lie further than just acting. An encounter with a loved one plays out in a much different manner than expected, which manages to dig a bit into one character. Moments of humour are weaved within, which unfortunately results in moments that feel as though they're taken from a different picture, while some are genuinely funny. A stand-out moment sees the horrific situation beginning to take place, while one crew member is more affected by the on-air use of the F word.

While the terror unfolds with these characters in the centre of it all, the camera catches people glued to the television screens, with the media and audiences reacting all over. With this, Foster encapsulates how real life events like these can grip people, as well how they often fail to grasp the severity of the situation, in such an authentic manner.

If one hasn't been proven of how talented a director Jodie Foster is, Money Monster should rectify that. A taut thriller that's anchored by compelling performances, and humorous Vine videos.