Somehow, a man in a hoodie slips into the studio carrying a couple of boxes. At first, Patty thinks it's another one of Lee's notorious rogue stunts, but the man, Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell, Unbroken), is actually a very disgruntled investor who listened to some "rock solid" advice Gates gave a few months back on a company called Ibis Clear Capital.
You see, just the day before all of this, Ibis experienced a glitch in their trading algorithm and the company mysteriously lost 800 million dollars overnight. This means that 800 million dollars of investors' money simply vanished, without much of an explanation other than "oops." And that's what Kyle Budwell wants from Gates - an explanation, and he's come armed with a bomb vest for the financial expert to wear whilst he explains.
When Patty realizes the severity of what is happening, she quietly evacuates everyone she can, but Kyle wants his demands broadcast for all to see, so the show must go on or Lee (and everyone else in the bomb's proximity) will die on national TV. As Kyle becomes more agitated and the nation and eventually, world, becomes slowly transfixed with this potentially deadly drama playing out on TV, Patty and her crew work to get some answers about the Ibis crash, since the CEO, Walt Camby (Dominic West) is AWOL and unreachable flying around in one of his private planes somewhere. Ibis' Chief Communications Officer, Diane Lester (Caitriona Balfe), was supposed to stand in for Camby on Money Monster, but as she starts to dig into what really happened and attempts to get answers that may save or just prolong Gates' life, her discoveries may not be the ones she expected to find. Maybe Kyle Budwell is not the only villain here after all.
Money Monster is a tense film, but it is very well done and actually much more enjoyable than I expected. I had to see it, just based on the fact that Jodie Foster was directing, and it starred two actors I really enjoy, George Clooney and Julia Roberts. However, the cadre of actors who play in Money Monster are fantastic, from the three pivotal characters, to the police who are attempting to bring this standoff to a non-violent end, to the little guys who work in the studio to keep things running, whether by manning cameras or doing research and running from place to place to get answers. Everyone works together fluidly to create a really terrific film. Actors like Giancarlo Esposito (Revolution, Breaking Bad) and Chris Bauer (True Blood) are always fun to see in any role, and I really enjoyed Lenny Venito as the main cameraman, and Christopher Denham as Ron Sprecher, Lee and Patty's assistant director go-to for all things weird, wonderful and physically taxing.
There is a nice selection of special features including deleted scenes, featurettes and interviews with cast and crew members on creating the film, the pivotal showdown scene, and one specifically on the outlandish character of Lee Gates. There is also a music video for a song featured prominently in the film. While I am typically not a big fan of featurettes, I really enjoyed these and getting an inside glimpse of Jodie Foster's methodical and precise style of directing.
Overall, I really enjoyed Money Monster. The acting and writing are superb and the film is satisfying. And you might just learn a thing or two about the money market and the computer algorithms that are playing with the world's money every day. If you enjoy a fast-paced thriller that isn't afraid to throw some high-level financial terms at you, you'll enjoy Money Monster. While you don't have to fit into these categories, math nerds and lovers of political chaos will get an extra kick out of it.