Money Monster, 2016

© Sony Pictures Releasing

What starts like a true hand-to-heart psychological thriller, where the super good-looking protagonist could’ve talked his way out of anything (with the help of Pretty Woman and Agent Clarice M. Starling) takes a nose-dive into a loathsome territory and gets rather ridiculous, somewhere around the half-hour mark. Jodie Foster looks and feels better in front of the camera.

The trailer, the title, the premise, the whole damn deal is dripping with pomading promise, heck, the film even seemed reasonably good and with the heavy-weight cast and three experienced filmmakers working the screenplay, where it may have looked like fucking Birdman written by Charlie Kaufman. Turns out it was only to end up being pitiful and downright lazy on the big screen, within a single viewing. But who am I to say anything? After all Foster, Clooney & Roberts know what they are doing until they seem not to know or care. The procedure by Jodie Foster, as the mighty director, to (what this sinnerman inferred) highlight and even perhaps take the socio-economic angst head-on, with the help of a solid script (I admit, ironically so) is inebriated on Robert’s and Clooney’s enormous charisma, swaggering and swaying towards mediocrity and transpiring the prosaic.

It is too intoxicated by the idea of a collaboration of such eminence and disregards, even maybe gets drunk by the impersonal sensationalism that it ridicules, as the filmmakers try to build suspense, and the action persuasive – it all fails miserably and as noted before, it misses the grand opportunity of having such seasoned screen-writers and actors on the panel and let it all go to waste.

Used under Fair Use
George Clooney (center) stars as Lee Gates in TriStar Pictures’ MONEY MONSTER.

Having a man who could sweep any woman, OK, straight women; alright, quite a few straight women; and men, yes, some of them (goodness, why does this have to be so complicated? Perhaps because it is), off her feet and proverbial chemistry between two stars, and a pretty decent opening could not save this film from being pedestrian and plain old witless.

Life is strange and shit like this can go down, but it could’ve gone down better, with sincerity, with emotional nuances. Your best qualities could turn against you and your director could be your all-time love interest and the bad guy could be a good guy in retrospect (retrospection at 45 minutes into the film is not good, especially if it happens to be the film playing right in front of you – it’s distracting) and a walk down what looked like the 49th street in NYC and even more awkward decisions like leaving the studio, changing the target, simply seem to drag on without remorse, it looks like Foster is in a hurry and as a result letting go of any closure and replace it with wish-fulfillment (very gay) from a Syriana/Batman & Robin (woohoo) mythos fused together, towards the end. That sounds preposterous and (again) very gay, bluster and nerve.  

Money Monster

Watch it for Nell digging Nell (imagine the trauma of a man who grew up secretly loving Nell all the way to cutting out her pictures from various film periodicals like Premier and Variety and…, ah nevermind), watch it for Danny Ocean, pay it a visit for Erin Brockovich and have fun watching them because of how they are, I guess, because if you watch it for how it is served, you’re most likely never to return.

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