The trailer for Money Monster, a hostage drama and comeuppance fantasy from director Jodie Foster, wastes no time in showing us some familiar faces. George Clooney plays a jocular TV financial commentator in the mold of CNBC’s Jim Cramer; Julia Roberts plays the exacting producer who keeps his show running. Clooney’s and Roberts’ lives get complicated when a financially ruined blue-collar stranger (Jack O’Connell, most recently seen in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken) walks on set midbroadcast with a gun and a bomb vest, demanding redress from the bigwigs he blames for his financial misfortune. The supporting cast includes Giancarlo Esposito as an NYPD captain and Dominic West as CEO of a company whose stock volatility seems to have prompted the film’s events.
It appears unlikely that Money Monster will chart a novel moral, thematic, or narrative path. For one thing, the film arrives a little late to capitalize on the financial meltdown zeitgeist, and clunky dialogue like “I’m telling you—it’s rigged. ... They’re stealing everything from us, and they’re getting away with it” suggests that the script lacks the nuance of, say, The Big Short. But Money Monster's producers are surely hoping that the combined star power of Clooney and Roberts—last seen on screen together in Ocean’s Twelve—will attract moviegoers. And Foster’s directorial efforts don’t come around often—her most recent film, the decently received The Beaver, arrived half a decade ago—which is reason enough to be intrigued by this one.