The old saying “If I wanted to hear a sermon I would have gone to church”, applies very well to the movie Money Monster. My biggest worry after watching this movie is that some person already teetering on the edge will follow the theme of the movie and decide that the only way to “fix the system” is to march down to a T.V. studio with a gun and a bomb and demand to be heard. We have already had many real incidents like this at schools, businesses and even national parks. Do we really need a movie glorifying this type of behavior?
The movie repeatedly beats the audience over the head with the following well-worn themes
- Wall Street is bad.
- The whole financial system is rigged.
- Little people don’t earn enough.
- Corporate CEOs are evil guys.
- If you can just get on T.V. and say the truth the average people will listen.
- Police are all trigger happy killers.
- T.V. personalities are actually kind and caring people if only given the chance.
George Clooney stars as Lee Gates, the slick host of a financial advice T.V. show called Money Monster. The T.V. show is all flash and no substance. Lee realizes it it just “show biz”, but unfortunately some of his viewers actually think they are watching well thought out financial analysis.
One of those viewers is Kyle Budwell (well played by Jack O’Connell) who lost 100% of his inheritance on a stock (IBIS Industries) which Lee gates recommended. Kyle then takes Lee hostage on air with a gun and a suicide vest and demands to be heard.
Lee Gates decides the only way to save his own life is to help Kyle investigate why IBIS stock really crashed. Lee is helped by the show’s director Patty (played by Julia Roberts) With the aid of Russian computer hackers she is able to instantly tap into all the world’s computer networks and find out the truth behind the stock crash.
Money Monster is fast paced and has excellent acting. The problem is that it is so preachy in its anti-corporate theme that at times it feels more like you are watching a political ad than a movie.
We are supposed to quickly come over to the point of view of Kyle (the hostage taker) and root for his success. He is an interesting character, but we were just never able to like him as much as the movie wanted us to. Kyle was stupid enough to bet all the money he had in the world on 1 stock he saw recommended by a guy dancing on T.V. in a sparkle-covered top hat. Then when that investment tanks, instead of blaming himself, Kyle picks up a gun and a bomb.
On the actual news we have all seen enough people with guns and bombs trying to “save us” by taking hostages or blowing up buildings filled with people. Do we really need a movie cheering for one of them?
- We give this movie Three Stars ***
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