Lee Gates (George Clooney) is taken hostage by Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) on TV’s Money Monster.

Lee Gates (George Clooney) is taken hostage by Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) on TV’s Money Monster.

Reel Reviews: Time is money for these monsters

You can blame director Jodie Foster for the mess that is Money Monster.

  • May. 20, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Lee Gates (George Clooney) is a fading financial guru starring in his own network television investment show.

Nobody likes him and if it wasn’t for the tight reigns kept on him by the show’s producer, Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts), the show would probably already be cancelled.

When an irate investor, Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell), busts onto the set, taking everyone hostage, Gates and Fenn become embroiled in the dangerous game of who to blame on live TV.

We say, “It’s Jodie Foster’s fault.”

TAYLOR: I hadn’t heard anything about Money Monster before seeing it. Not one trailer; not one comment online; not even one rumbling from open car windows, detouring around Vernon’s construction season.

I had high hopes for the film, given that it has Clooney and Roberts starring. As well as being a smaller, perhaps serious, picture, I thought it might be unlike every other film currently showing. I was disappointed. In some ways, this film is bad, but in most ways it is just silly.

HOWE: And that one word, silly, sums up the whole movie. I can’t say that I was disappointed because I think that Clooney and Roberts are two of the biggest, over-hyped actors of all time. They each make one semi-decent movie in their careers and they are the best ever. I don’t think so. To me they are the money monsters, getting a nice big pay packet for a movie that is terrible.

TAYLOR: I guess my biggest problem was not with the acting, although O’Connell’s accent was terrible, but with the premises and characters.

Clooney is a cliché in his role, albeit a slightly more soft-spoken Blowhard Moneybags. Budwell’s off-kilter everyman is effective enough at first, but is allowed to become unbelievable by the situation unfolding in the story. So by the end, we don’t believe where we have been taken and more importantly, we don’t care. This is why it is director Jodie Foster’s fault. There are capable people here. They should have all taken a cue from Roberts’ performance, keeping their mouths shut.

HOWE: The concept of the idea for Money Monster is different, intriguing and given a few adjustments and a more believable cast, it may have worked.

It is meant to be a thriller but right from go, you know who the bad guy is, who the fall guy is, and where the story is leading.

It should have twisted and turned a lot more. The only bonus to this was that it lasted just more than an hour and a half, and just like O’Connell’s character, you won’t be getting any good return for your investment on this showing.

TAYLOR: It’s still the most relevant movie playing at the moment.

– Taylor gives Money Monster 2.5 hot tips out of 5

– Howe gives it 1.5 private Learjets out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.