"Money Monster" is a hostage movie that takes place in my business, a television studio, filled with lights, cameras, and in this case...a national audience. It's also a movie filled with enormous problems.
The more I think about "Money Monster" the worse it gets despite it's volatile premise, as an angry man with a gun easily enters a "live" network television show and takes the Cramer-esque host played by George Clooney, hostage.
He's mad because he lost his life savings after watching the show, and he's not going to take it anymore. The gunman also has his finger on the trigger of an explosive vest worn by the show host. I don't think shooting the show host on "live" tv is a good choice. By the gunman or the police.
Julia Roberts is quite good as Clooney's no-nonsense director and the opening sequence is both fun and disturbing to watch. But it's hard to overcome the basics, like how easy it was to access the studio with a firearm in the first place, and how easy it is to hear the gunman speak on TV without a microphone. If this film happened to be smart and compelling it wouldn't matter, but it's not, it plays mostly on a visceral, hollow surface.
"Money Monster" is directed in a slick efficient manner by two-time Oscar-winning actress, Jodie Foster, and at one point in her movie the hostage and gunman walk down the street broadcasting "live" all over the world. That's impossible, the camera isn't connected. This isn't in the same league as the outraged "Dog Day Afternoon" or "Network," but it does have some moments.
"Money Monster" is rated R and won't win any awards for subtlety. Yes, it's uneven and everyone in the film is quite good. It's also illogical and the message of Wall Street corruption and media over-hype is heavy-handed. I work in television and it matters to me. It might not matter as much to you.