by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer
A lot of people say that investing in the stock market is like playing the lottery – you take your chances that a big payout will come to you sooner rather than later. And when the market dips we all tend to feel it – whether it’s in our 401K or our portfolios that we invest in individually. But when things turn sour and money disappears who should answer for that?
Money Monster, the latest film from actress / director Jodie Foster, takes us on that ride as one man who lost it all just wants an answer as to how something like that could happen.
Lee Gates (George Clooney) is your average, run-of-the-mill TV stock guru, telling us all to “get some balls” and buy or sell depending on what he sees in the market. Nothing seems to phase Gates, as he is one of the cockiest SOBs you’ll see on the small screen. Whether it’s telling us how stupid we are for following the DOW or telling his director (Julia Roberts) that he’s winging his intro, Gates is that smarmy bastard that makes you want to change the channel.
Suddenly, while live and on the air, Gates’ show Money Monster is hijacked by Kyle (Jack O’Connell), an everyday working-class guy who sunk every last cent of his inheritance into a stock that was guaranteed to be safer than putting his money in the bank. But now that Kyle has lost everything, he comes to the one place where he believes he can get answers – and if he has to hold everyone at gunpoint and strap bombs onto people to be heard then so be it.
Now it’s a race to find out how a “computer glitch” can lose $800 million and leave the stockholders without a penny while trying to keep Kyle from losing his cool and blowing up Lee on his own show.
Jodie Foster helms a taut thriller that grabs your attention and keeps it well through the 100 minute run time. While it’s been some time since we’ve seen her behind the camera for a theatrical effort, Foster shows that she’s no slouch, pulling every bit of tension from each shot as a fed-up everyman just wants some answers.
Screenwriters Alan Di Fiore, Jim Kouf and Jamie Linden deliver a compelling story that never feels dull, even when the majority of the characters are stalling for time trying to find answers and save lives (whether it be theirs or the hostages).
As usual you can count on George Clooney and Julia Roberts to put in stellar performances and Jack O’Connell is slowly proving himself to be a hot commodity in Hollywood. the only thing I wish is that he had dialed it back a bit on the New York accent. It was incredibly thick and made his character seem like a caricature at times instead of a real person.
While it’s not a Blue Ribbon stock there are worse ways you could invest your money and time at the multiplex. Instead of seeing Captain America: Civil War for the third or fourth time I’d say you should buy into Money Monster. It’s a character driven drama that pays dividends.