When we were apartment camping without much internet or TV reception we went to the movies every weekend. We saw several movies that normally I would have passed until they were on TV. But given the situation we paid the price to get out, sit in chairs other than camping ones, see something other than DVDs and enjoy ourselves. Money Monster was one of those movies.
The main actors were definite A-listers George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Clooney was this star of an over the top financial advice show. Roberts was his world weary director. All changes when a disgruntled investor who followed some of Clooney’s flippant advice and lost all comes to the set to take him hostage.
That set the stage for a great character moral drama. I was thinking something along the likes of Death of a Salesman or 12 Angry Men. You know character development in a room under tension kind of thing. Who is responsible for the devastation of this man’s life? Sure hostage taking is wrong but are people like the Clooney character taking advantage of the little guy? Are big corporations with their maneuverings thinking of their investors or is it the tops guys playing a Games of Thrones type power grab? Does the investor has culpability, caveat emptor? Where does one the responsibility of one of these parties ends and the other begin? Should business be moral or just legal?
All those are good issues that were raised and chewed upon as Roberts worked with police to deal with the hostage situation on her stage. If it all had stayed in the studio and come to an end there after each main character coming to their new answers for these questions from enduring the situation that would have been one helluva a movie. But alas this is modern Hollywood during the Summer blockbuster season we gotta take it over the top and they did.
Instead of pondering and dealing with grey lines they had to go for black and white. They had to cross the line into illegal so we’d know who the bad guy was. Can’t have everyone be a bit of both you see the audience is too simple to ever get that. Then we had to really crush believability and take it outside the studio in a series of scenes that were so over the top that at that point I was personally rooting for all of them to die. I’ll save you from the Hollywood ending but let me say it was typical.
Now if I’d tuned into Lifetime to watch this as a Lifetime movie I’d say it was good. It lives up to what I’d expect there. But after paying full price and getting a set up that could have led to a deep thought not fully resolved but good commentary on society movie only to have it fall into the gotta have a big ending scene crap I was disappointed. In the end I can say we had a night out, got some good popcorn, got a good 30 minutes of entertainment maybe 40 out of the 98 minute movie, and enjoyed seats that were padded.