Sunday, 29 May 2016
REVIEW: MONEY MONSTER
No Money, Mo' Problems.
98 Mins. Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell & Dominic West. Director: Jodie Foster.
"Clooney! Clooney! Clooney....Cloooooney!" Please stand by! They say money makes the world go round, but in Hollywood it's more like celebrity. Big names! Top billers! And you get plenty for your buck in 'Money Monster'. George Clooney. Julia Roberts. Leading man. Leading woman. Even Jodie Foster behind the bullhorn as director. All these heavyweights and a chance for an 'Unbroken', 'Starred Up' newcomer in the form of Jack O'Connell to take his shot in this title and this 'Boiler Room' tension igniting film about money that never sleeps like Gekko's on 'Wall Street' really is a beast. Charging like a brass bull straight on to the set of the type of U.S. financial advice show of cartoon and candy consideration that former satirical 'Daily Show' host Jon Stewart took to critical deficit task. O'Connell wants to take aging host Clooney hostage after a bad tip leaves him not even able to scrape together a few quarters to leave one at the type of minimum wage job he pushes plates for. Fostering a great approach to the crooked side of the coin, Jodie gives us a movie that owes as much to the legendary likes of Al Pacino's bank hostage 'Dog Day Afternoon' and Hoffman and Travolta's 'Mad City' gone news cycle, cyclone weather changing crazy before the age of social media, to the blue against green force of New York's biting Big Apple in '16 Blocks' and the Spike Lee 'Inside Man' film she starred in alongside Denzel Washington. Banking on this the woman who last made Manhattan her own in the revenge soaked 'The Brave One' really affords more here in this dollars and tense tale that shows you crime no longer pays. At least not in singles.
That's because in his 'Oceans Eleven' reunion with Julia Roberts, George Clooney may just be one man but he represents so much more as he plays us all. From the mainstream media to the governing bailouts, Clooney's character is a colossal coupling of every corrupt faction trying to cheat us out of our change. But is he the villain here? Like 'The Affair' star Dominic Cooper, a long transfer away from 'The Wire' as a cheating fat cat dressed in GQ clothing. Who offers us in this Vine age the funniest moment in a movie just as satirical as it is fanitical. Or is George "just" a T.V. spin doctor so spun around and twisted he doesn't even believe in the s### he's selling anymore? As he dons a dollar sign top hat and gold chain, flanked by two bikinis like he was a bad interpretation of Flavour Flav at a Halloween party? Scary huh? Yet this Public Enemy trying to appeal to the potatoes of every household has a moral code, core and conduct....he's just buried it in Scrooge McDuck pools of revenue, Tom Ford suits and a sheen of hair laquer to smell out the real sense of money. And the fact that he's not selling...he's shilling. Still fitting the bill perfectly like Franklin this by George is Clooney's best in years. The closest thing we have this era to Cary Grant, albeit born in the wrong time where we now have the likes of Buble (no disrespect Michael) instead of Sinatra, Clooney is classic. After assembling some old 'Monuments Men' like the Ocean he is for World War 2, to heading to the future in 'Tomorrowland', George can still move with the times. But put this next to his 'Hail Ceasar' Cohen reunion in Roman Regalia and oh brother the actor/director is back for the first time since he had to find depth 100 miles high 'Up In The Air' or with 'The Descendants' in Hawaii.
After what seems like a 'Eat, Pray, Love' Vatican vacation from screens, still 'Pretty Woman' and so much 'Erin Brokovich' more Julia Roberts is back too like she or classic, original, no need for special effects, tense thrillers more exciting than action blockbusters like this never left theatres. She's been around over the years and keeping up with the stars and elephants in the room like Tom Hanks in 'Larry Crowne' and Meryl Streep in 'August: Osage County'. But now with this exclusive company and the forthcoming Aniston/Hudson/Whitehall? 'Mothers Day' ensemble from the same people that gave you the first class leg-room of her sitting next to Bradley Cooper on a plane in 'Valentines Day', you'll want her in her own leading picture. As she mans the studios production console with a courage under fire (wrong film Jodie Foster...that was Meg Ryan) like 'Pelican' co-star Denzel did for the taking of New York in 'Pelham', she has found her seat again even if her contemporary has the chair. Three..two...one, she's back! Action! And that comes by the gun of Jack O'Connell whose a red raged, dynamite furious fuse that represents this millennial generation that cares and their aggravated, assaulting anger and anxiety in a world where they'll try and hit the lotto, whether scratch card or stock tip just so they can barely tread water...instead of drown in its desperation. You can just hear the accented vulnerability in his voice. Actress turned 'Unbroken' director Angelina Jolie saw it and now Jodie Foster does in making the chameleonic actor more than just a broken man, but the shards of that infamous shattered plate on 'Breaking Bad', trying to be put back together in vainful hope that there's not a piece missing. Assemble and put this all together and you have a movie from 'The Silence Of The Lambs' star that is more than just a 90's nostalgic Hollywood big-three thanks to a Jack out the box who would sooner reach for something else than a volume up, dumbed down television remote to make sense of this world we dwell in today. And that something isn't a gun, or a buck, but a difference. And that's real change in this world whose greenery is now too much measured in money. Clooney, Roberts, Foster...O'Connell...now that's the making of a monster! TIM DAVID HARVEY.