Review: Money Monster (2016)

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George Clooney stars as a financial TV host held hostage live on air in this silly, yet undeniably thrilling slab of popcorn entertainment. The hostage taker is Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell), an irate investor who lost thousands as a result of a tip made by Lee (Clooney). Jodie Foster, who returns to the directors chair five years after The Beaver, is efficient behind the camera; the pace is taut and tension kept high. The editing is slick, utilising the operational TV studio set with its ceiling-high walkways and control booth, where Julia Roberts’ executive nervously views the situation through a series of monitors  and attempts to advise Lee through an ear piece. The script is its let-down, all convention and unsurprising twists that can be seen a mile off. There’s even an unnecessary subplot involving a producer taking a new form of viagra that has no purpose whatsoever. But when you have leads this dependable (Clooney can do this sort of role in his sleep and he has easy chemistry with Roberts), a hook that’s current to the times and cushy thrills, this kind of streamlined simplicity is the easiest – and most fun at the time – to digest.

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