Before I even begin I just want to say this is a fantastic film! I would put it on a level with Eye in the Sky, another recent thriller which I absolutely loved! (You can check out my review of that here:Eye in the Sky).
So Money Monster follows TV presenter Lee (George Clooney) who fronts a show that focuses on finances and stocks and shares. The show is directed by Patty (Julia Roberts) and is clearly not something that takes itself too seriously (Lee opens the show with scantily clad women and some serious dad-dancing!). The film is set in real-time, so we follow one day for the whole film and at first things are going along like normal, as Patty and Lee prepare for today’s programme. However, not long after they begin the live broadcast it becomes apparent that there is an intruder on set. This is where the film really gets going, as it turns out this intruder – Kyle, played by Jack O’Connell – had watched a previous show and followed Lee’s advice to put his money into the shares of IBIS. Unfortunately IBIS suffered a computer glitch and lost everyone’s money, and now Kyle wants to know where all his money went. Although that may sound a little boring, people lose money through stocks and shares all the time, it soon starts to unravel that there might not have been a glitch all along and actually someone is behind the mystery of the missing money. Also, in his desperation Kyle has arrived in possession of a gun and a bomb, and starts to demand answers, all on live TV. Lee and Patty are then forced to work out what happened before Kyle sets off the bomb.
Money Monster really is incredibly thrilling from start to finish. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up as I don’t know much about the financial market but actually the information they do give is easily understandable. When the truth about the missing money starts to come out you are gripped and desperate to find out what really happened. It’s all brilliantly tense but with a few hilarious lines thrown in to keep it from being too much. Lenny the cameraman (played by Lenny Venito) has most of these lines, and plays them brilliantly. It’s also really cool as a film graduate to be taken back into the world of production as we are taken behind the scenes of Lee’s show and get to see all the technical side of producing through the eyes of Patty.
George Clooney is great as Lee, he gets to play the usual cheeky character that we mostly know him as, but when things start to get serious Lee is forced to deal with the tricky situation at hand and here we get to see a different side to George. His relationship with Julia Roberts is great on screen even though the two don’t have many scenes in the same room – Julia is in the directors booth and Lee on set. Patty communicates to Lee through his ear-piece and Lee talks back down the camera to her. Julia is incredible as Patty, she becomes the calming presence in the storm as she tries to figure out what’s best for all involved. She is put under pressure by Kyle’s demands to stay on air and figure out the mystery, and the Police’s demands to let them take over the situation. Julia is an incredible actress and one of my favourites, Money Monster is just another excellent performance to add to her list.
However, the real stand out of the film is fellow Brit Jack O’Connell. As an actor his career is just getting bigger and better. Starting out in British drama Skins he was picked by Angelina Jolie to play the lead in her film Unbroken, leading to Jack winning the Rising Star award at the BAFTA’s last year. Here he gives an incredible performance as Kyle, a young man who has lost everything and is truly desperate. Although in theory we shouldn’t like him – he is technically attempting to kill a lot of people – it is clear that Kyle is acting out of desperation and as his life story starts to be revealed it becomes very easy to connect to him and want to help him out. Jack gives us some very emotional and raw scenes and holds his own in a film that stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts – something not everyone could do! He was the perfect casting for this role and hopefully Jack will continue to rise in his career.
Overall, Money Monster truly is a fantastic film, from the casting to the gripping storyline you are hooked from start to finish. Directed by Jodie Foster, this film is definitely worth seeing and I urge you all to go watch it immediately! There’s a few similarities with Eye in the Sky (it’s shot in real-time too) so if you loved that then you’ll love this too. Definitely one of my favourite films so far this year!