Friday, May 13, 2016

Review: Money Monster (2016)

                             'Monster' Is Pretty On The 'Money'
       While watching the film, I was able to realize how you know when you have found a true movie star, someone you will watch in anything they star in, because even though the film's hostage storyline seemed familiar, I still went because of Jack O'Connell and I'll continue to watch anything that he does.

         Money Monster follows the story of a TV guru named Lee Gates (George Clooney) who is held hostage on his television show by a delivery man named Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell) who, after a bad tip on his show led him to losing all his savings, seeks answers as to why.

          I'll go right into the acting. While George Clooney boasts his usual charming self, he is able to allow the arc his character undergoes shine through seamlessly. Julia Roberts is also spectacular as the show's producer Patty who acts as the calm within the storm, comforting Lee through his earpiece while they are in a chaotic situation. But to me, the real star is Jack O'Connell as Kyle. Even if the movie itself was terrible, I would probably still be glued to the screen because of his performance. With just a small twinkle in his eye or the way he physically shakes as he is about to pull the trigger, O'Connell paints his villainous character as anything but villainous. In fact, I wanted him to pull through in the end because he made me feel strong sympathy for him.

         Another thing I liked is how as soon as the hostage begins, the film immediately kicks into high gear. Right as soon as the action began, I was on the edge of my seat. That allowed the film's tight running time of about 100 minutes to run pretty smoothly.

        I also loved the cinematography by Matthew Libatique who also did Black Swan and Requiem For A Dream. One of my favorite sequences that was well shot was when Kyle slowly moves into the TV show set and he is hiding in blue shadows as if he is creeping from the darkness.

      While the film is pulsated with energy during the hostage scenes in the newsroom, I kind of wish that most of the film took place in the newsroom because the scenes outside of it sort of dragged the vibrant energy that took place down a bit. To me, it would've made things a lot more interesting.

     Overall, Money Monster is a familiar yet incredibly vibrant effort from director Jodie Foster that features a magnetic, scene-stealing performance by Jack O'Connell.

Grade: B+