Money Monster establishes average atmosphere despite pretentious message


Money Monster
George Clooney in Sony's "Money Monster." (MTSU Sidelines / FILE)

Money Monster is the story of the corrupt few controlling the many, and the many attempting to take back what is theirs. The movie portrays a self-centered financial TV show host who is suddenly held hostage by an everyman demanding answers. Financial morals in the modern world are tough messages to convey for any film. Money Monster comes close to contributing an educated voice to this well-worn ideology but ultimately stumbles in its presentation of real-life villains and heroes.

The film is fortunately bolstered by its intense atmosphere. The danger appears real from the beginning, and the tension is displayed expertly. The camera work provides the audience with a view of the situation that seems authentic and personal. Believability is key in any crime thriller, and Money Monster’s cinematography delivers on that front. Its believability lies within the characterization of the characters as well. George Clooney and Julia Roberts create a fascinating team to watch. Clooney’s fast-paced quips paired with Robert’s cool demeanor provides the audience with tangible chemistry. The rest of the supporting cast performs generally well but become entirely forgettable.

Money Monster’s story begins promising and plays out as any formidable crime thriller should. The twists and turns that unravel as the film progresses contribute to the overall restlessness of the characters on screen. Money Monster’s pacing builds on the created intensity and establishes a well-balanced tone throughout the film. Its editing feeds back into the chemistry that Clooney and Roberts provide.

The element that truly damages the film and its credibility is the underlying message. That message being that the 1 percent are generally corrupt and are keeping the masses from the life they deserve. The film conveys this message in a relatively heavy-handed manner that can turn many audience members off. Money Monster’s conclusion is a direct effect of this message and its execution is both pretentious and unrealistic. The audience is left to not care about the eventual impact due to this blunder. Once the credits roll, the confused significance of the movie drowns out any semblance of memorability that it had to offer. Fortunately this element does not completely overshadow the impressive attempts of the rest of the film.

Money Monster is a flawed movie that only sporadically displays moments of substantial cinema. When these substantial scenes play out, the good drastically outweigh the bad. Clooney and Roberts create characters that are potentially memorable. Unfortunately, the remainder of the film falls into the category of plainly average. This is due to the eventual and ultimate focus that throws the balance of each and every performance. Money Monster could be a winner for casual thriller audiences, but to the rest of us moviegoers, I would advise to quickly cash out.

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To contact Lifestyles editor Olivia Ladd email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

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