Review – Money Monster (2016)

money-monster-571fabcc32872.pngmoney-monster-571fabe229c82The lust and greed for money can be a very bad thing – a fact that’s been proven in different articles, tv show episodes, books, and movies involving Ebeneezer Scrooge. However, no matter how bad it can be, it’s a necessity we all have, a god we all must not only praise…but obey. In all honesty, I wish it weren’t that way. Back in my high school days, I wrote an essay about what I’d consider a “perfect world” and my “perfect world” wasn’t constrained with any element of money. People were taken care of, housed, fed, educated – and no one had to suffer on the streets. The spirit behind the essay may have been a little too hippie for most people…but it’s still a way of life I think we could benefit from. Money Monster is just another movie that exposes how important money is to the wrong set of people, and how much the little man doesn’t matter.

On the set of Money Monster – a financial tv show that over-focuses on stock trends, host Lee Gates (George Clooney) is filming another episode when the station is hijacked by a man that has been victim of a confusing stock crash similar to the Enron scandal in the early years of the new millennium. As the show continues to air the hijacking live, Lee Gates tries to help the man figure out what exactly went wrong in an effort to stop it from possibly ever happening again.

This film sometimes confuses me. I like it, but at the same time, bits and pieces prove to be boring for me. The concept itself, if I were to compare to anything else would no doubt be a serious version of Fun with Dick and Jane. Both have a similar problem in stocks mysteriously crashing like Enron. Here’s what I mostly feel – the beginning of this movie is sharp and intense. I didn’t know what would happen next, and I loved how they were handling the situation…it felt like a unique mystery. The rest of the movie after the halfway point felt vexing and loses that initial traction it began with. There are parts of this film that feels amazingly realistic and relatable, and then it takes it too far.

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George Clooney seems to be based off real-life money and stocks expert Jim Cramer of Mad Money – whose been featured in other films, like Fun with Dick and Jane. Had I never seen him in another movie, I wouldn’t have been able to make the distinction and found this TV show to be strange.  I’m glad I noticed it, but I doubt many others will, and in terms of generality – I find Money Monster to be slightly too high brow for the general audience, making it boring where it shouldn’t be. Personally, I’m not someone that cares too much for the stock market, which is why I sometimes find it difficult to watch movies based off of that (I have yet to see Wolf of Wall Street). I am assuming I’m not the only one with that distaste. That being said, I did mostly enjoy this one.

The characters make Money Monster interesting, if not exciting. Understanding what they are talking about throughout the movie no doubt helps you enjoy it, but it’s not necessary.  If you have the time, check out this film.

RATING: 7.8/10

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