Money Monster begins with the financial breaking news that Ibis Clear Capital’s shares plumetted due to “a glitch in their algorithm”, since all our money is just zeroes and ones in the electronic ether, rather than cold hard cash in the bank.
George Clooney is Lee Gates, the host of the titular financial advice show, and he prides himself on giving the best tips for what to do with your moolah, so when disgruntled investor Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) breaks into the studio, brandishing a gun and a waistcoat rigged with explosives, Lee’s more than a little surprised. Elsewhere in the mix is studio director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts), on the verge of changing jobs.
This is a competent thriller from Jodie Foster which makes you want to stick with to discover the outcome, but despite Clooney and Roberts being big names, they take away rather than add. I feel that lesser-known actors would’ve been more convincing in the lead roles, and it could’ve gone from a good film to a great film. However, the audience are fickle and if some films are missing big actors, they stay away – Independence Day: Resurgence being a case in point, re: Will Smith, who reportedly ditched the sequel in favour of an After Earth trilogy, which got canned after one bad film, but he came back stronger with the success of Suicide Squad.
O’Connell proves his worth in this, but I got more out of his performance as well as those behind tertiary characters like assistant Ron (Christopher Denham), who’s got a lead on some new erectile cream, cameraman Lenny (Lenny Venito), who has a penchant for shouting “Balls!” as a catchphrase, and TV runner Amy (Greta Lee) than either of the two leads. There’s also good support from Caitriona Balfe as Diane Lester, underling to Ibis’ CEO Walt Camby (Dominic West, who’s also going through the motions in this – he was so great in The Wire, but doesn’t put in the effort when he’s being paid the big bucks).
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and you’d be surprised if it was not a top-notch transfer for a brand new film, as the brothers go globe-trotting to sort out the baddies.h
The sound is in DTS HD 5.1 and some great split-surround audio is used in the action scenes, plus it gets a bit squelchy when the elephant is in the room…
The extras are as follows – nothing to get too excited about, but they’re functional:
- Deleted scenes (2:23): Three brief ones, here – an alternative opening one with more TV runner Amy and an extra piece with a girl called Molly (Emily Meade), whose appearance will make more sense when you watch the film, but I don’t want to give away anything here.
- Featurettes: Three of them, all following the same ‘making of’ pattern where they mix clips with chat from key cast and crew, beginning with George Clooney: The Money Man (5:27) and then Inside the Pressure Cooker (9:55), the latter of which tells us how the film was shot in chronological order, which is quite a rarity in the movies; and then Analysis of a scene: The Showdown (7:09), which I don’t want to go into detail about, and certainly DO NOT watch this before you see the film, otherwise you’ll have a key scene spoiled.
- Music video (3:05): Dan the Automator‘s closing theme, What Makes The World Go Round? (Money!)
- Audio Descriptive track: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
The menu features a still shot of the packshot, dialogue is in English and Italian, there are subtitles in English, Italian and Polish, and there are 16 chapters – more than the average film, but I’d still like a few more as I go by the rule of thumb of one every five minutes.
Running time: 98 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
Released: October 3rd 2016
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, Italian
Subtitles: English, Italian, Polish
Format: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Jodie Foster
Producers: Lara Alameddine, George Clooney, Daniel Dubiecki and Grant Heslov
Screenplay: Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore and Jim Kouf
Music: Dominic Lewis
Lee Gates: George Clooney
Patty Fenn: Julia Roberts
Kyle Budwell: Jack O’Connell
Walt Camby: Dominic West
Diane Lester: Caitriona Balfe
Captain Powell: Giancarlo Esposito
Ron Sprecher: Christopher Denham
Lenny The Cameraman: Lenny Venito
Lt. Nelson: Chris Bauer
Avery Goodloe CFO: Dennis Boutsikaris
Molly: Emily Meade
Amy Lee: Greta Lee
Bree (The Assistant): Condola Rashad
Won Joon: Aaron Yoo
Tech Sam: Carsey Walker Jr
Tech Dave: Grant Rosenmeyer
Technical Director Jim: Jim Warden
Matty (Floor Manager): Joseph D Reitman
Arlene: Olivia Luccardi
Network Security Guard: Grizz Chapman
Security Officer Nolan: Robert C Kirk
Production Assistant: Genevieve Adams
Lt. Vasquez: Ivan Martin
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.