Money Monster

“I’ve recently started to realize that while I typically say that my favorite genre is action (especially going towards action comedy), the truth is my favorite my be more thriller. I think to some extent, it took a while to figure out that it could be it’s own genre, and not a subset of horror or drama and not limited to a subgenre like psychological thriller (which may be my favorite flavor of the genre), and not just a generic adjective like “”suspense””. Part of the realization that this genre is my jam is how excited I’ve been getting for them. Money Monster, case in point. Just the edge of my seat feel the trailer gave me had me really antsing to see this, probably one of the top of my list of the summer besides the big name tentpoles. Anyways, I managed to squeeze this one in on an NYC day trip, between a matinee of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and an evening show of American Psycho!!!!!!!!!

Ever notice how the second paragraph of my write ups is usually where I give the quick summary? Yeah, this post is no different. Directed by Jodie Foster (her highest profile flick behind the camera to date), we’ve got George Clooney as the host of a live spectacle of a financial tv show and Julia Roberts as the producer running the whole damn thing. One day during filming, a guy posing as a delivery man (Jack O’Connell) breaks in, straps a bomb to Clooney’s Lee Gates, and demands answers to the stock crash that lost all the money he’d invested, going off a bad time from Gates. The whole thing is a high tension hostage situation as Clooney tries to keep his head (figuratively and literally) on life tv, with his faithful producer in his ear who is also trying to wrangle answers for the desperate man in front of her.

The one big, but surmountable, flaw is that I couldn’t quite follow exactly what was going on with the stock market scandal. However, I did know enough to grasp that them saying that millions of dollars were lost due to a “”computer glitch”” wasn’t gonna fly. So as they’re working to figure out exactly what happened, I never fully got what that was. But it didn’t quite matter because the effect was achieved, in that the character’s reactions were enough to convey what was important about each puzzle piece.

And yes, the characters are what made this. I mean, yes, I loved the suspense. The tension kept me on the edge of my seat and I was only partially sure of how it’d resolve throughout. But without characters you care about, suspense means nothing, with their fates not mattering. Really, I don’t know that it was so much the characters themselves (there wasn’t really a whole lot written on the page for them) as the strong cast behind them. I shouldn’t have to sell you on Clooney and Roberts by this point in their careers, and O’Connell has been such a promising up and comer. I really think I liked him best, giving some sympathy to his character (similar to what Barkhad Abdi did in a comparable position in Captain Phillips). I love that once again (after working with director Angelina Jolie in Unbreakable) he’s working with some top notch peeps in the biz, which will hopefully translate to even more greatness to come from him.

So the summer keeps on rolling and I’m liking what I’m seeing so far. We’ll see if the momentum keeps up (although I’m wary of some releases coming down the line), but for now it’s a fun time to be at the movies.

Money Monster – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”

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