Greed is not good in Greed. Director Michael Winterbottom’s new satire shows us wealth in all its vanity, venality and vulgarity, as flaunted by Steve Coogan’s besieged fashion tycoon – a thinly veiled Philip Green (there’s a mental image for you), with hints of Richard Branson, Richard Caring and Nero. Greed – scornful of modern excess and mindful of exploitation – is just the kind of parable we need right now. But movies have been sending out decidedly mixed messages about billionaires recently.
Take a look at Michael Bay’s latest outspaffing, 6 Underground, in which Ryan Reynolds plays a billionaire-playboy-genius type who assembles a vigilante squad dedicated to taking out “truly world-class evil motherfuckers”, however many frantically edited action set-pieces it takes.