Hello, fellow moviegoers!
We are about half way through the month of May, and we’re just starting to get into this year’s summer movie season. Captain America: Civil War opened in the US two weeks ago, and Angry Birds, Neighbors 2, and The Nice Guys, all open later this week. That being said, this time of the year isn’t all about the big blockbusters. There are always a ton of smaller films that come out under the radar, some of them turn out to be fantastic others not so much…
Money Monster stars George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jack O’Connell. After Lee Gates, host of the popular show “Money Monster”, is taken hostage live on the air, the police and all parties involved with the show have to deal with the delicate situation as they try to figure out what caused one of the best stocks on the market to tank overnight bankrupting millions. So is Money Monster one of the “hidden gems” to be released this summer, or does it fail to leave a mark?
Money Monster was a very well executed film with great acting and an interesting plot. While it may not have hit as many checkboxes as many would prefer, it is still a film that I think anyone could watch and have an entertaining experience.
The story throughout the film is what locks you in. The film jumps right into the heart of the plot. It doesn’t waste fifteen minutes giving expositional backstory to the show or the characters. Money Monster begins in the last few minutes before the show goes on the air and from those short minutes you get a good feeling of who each character is and the kind of life they live. It's just any other day at this studio when this film starts, which makes it so much more interesting when this hostage situation takes place.
The acting in this film was good for the most part. Each of the three main leads helps to hold the film up as a whole. When watching the film, you could tell George Clooney was having a good time playing this character, whether he was in the over-the-top TV show scenes or the emotional sequences towards the film's close. Julia Robert’s character didn’t add a whole lot to the overall film; although, her performance was extremely believable. The standout performance of the film, in my opinion, was Jack O’Connell as the gunman Kyle Budwell. O’Connell (Unbroken, ’71) is one of the few actors out there that gives great performances in almost every film he’s in, yet he still hasn’t clicked with audiences. This film is another great addition to O’Connell’s resume. If he plays his cards right, O’Connell could be one of the next big names in Hollywood.
Where the film struggles, however, is outside of those three characters and the simple plot. There are several characters in this film that don’t fit. Christopher Denham as Ron Sprecher, in particular, felt like a discount Simon Pegg. He was there as a sort of comedic relief, but his humor failed. He felt so out of place and didn’t add anything to the overall story until one small bit at the end.
In addition to the missed humor, about half way through the film did something I hoped it wouldn’t; it added a true antagonist. The reason the film was so interesting beforehand was because it was very grey. There was no clear blame to be had. All parties involved were at fault, and they each had their own points to make. However, with the introduction of this unnecesarry antagonist, it felt like that all was thrown out the window. The worst part? It’s an easy fix. Don’t have that character, and just talk about “the system”. It’s what they were doing before, and it worked. Bringing in a specific person to take on the role of the antagonist was a big mistake.
The best compliment I can offer this film is that I legitimately didn’t know what was going to happen next. Money Monster takes you on a rollercoaster of unexpected happenings, most of them work, but there are a few that were a bit lackluster. I was invested in the situation at hand, and I wanted to know how this story was going to end. Not many films like this can do that.
Money Monster as a whole was a really good film. The performances by the lead cast, particularly Jack O’Connell, were great. The story was extremely interesting, and it got the audience invested in the situation. There were a few characters that were out of place, and the introduction of a cookie-cutter bad guy was a mistake, but I thought Money Monster was an enjoyable, thrilling, film.
So what did you think of Money Monster? What do you think of Jack O’Connell’s performance? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie news!
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