Thursday, 2 June 2016

REVIEW - MONEY MONSTER (JODIE FOSTER)


Stars do the silliest things. I'm never fond of films wherein the success of a single moment, or even of the entire enterprise, is predicated upon one element of its construction. Money Monster's success isn't predicated upon such, it's the film's very existence that relies upon the presence of its leads, George Clooney and Julia Roberts. It almost wants us to be grateful for that presence, as Jodie Foster dutifully fawns over their flatteringly-lit visages in scene after scene. And it rather succeeds - Money Monster is light entertainment, flavoured with a dash of intellectual spice but never surrendering to it, the kind of disposable cinema that gets by on the ephemeral pleasures it can provide the audience, not least the high star-wattage featured herein. You might even say the film's success is predicated upon their presence. So Money Monster wisely settles into itself, now shooting not for the stars but for closer, safer targets - the moon, perhaps, since its capacity to probe further is limited by its creative vapidity and adherence to genre conventions. But that adherence it exploits for all it's worth, wringing a hostage thriller, a corporate drama and flashes of action and comedy out of its minimal means, oddly even earning its third act diversion outside the location that dominated its first two acts (a normally foolish development). And as disposable as it may seem - and indeed may actually be - Foster maintains an intriguing focus on a lack thereof, honing in on alternative interpretations of apparently straightforward events, ambiguous moral concepts and humanity's inevitable inclination toward ignorance. Today's news is tomorrow's chip paper. About as disposable as they come.