MICHAEL Winterbottom’s comedy drama opens with a scene of Caroline Flack, the late television presenter, handing over a big cheque to the wealthy wife of a rich businessman while his poorly paid minions look on.

Greed is in part a look at celebrity culture. It is also a satirical gaze at business, reality TV, globalisation, as well as the chance to crack a few gags about big teeth and fake breasts. It is, in short, a picture that wants to say a lot but is not sure exactly what.

Steve Coogan plays Sir Richard McCreadie (above), a rag trade to riches billionaire who is an amalgam of a certain high street fashion retailer and every other self-promoting business mogul you can think of. As the film begins preparations are underway for his 60th birthday party on a Greek island. It is a predictably vulgar bash complete with fake colosseum and some poor old mangy lion.

McCreadie is staging the bash to boost his image after a hammering from a Commons committee. Between the goings on in Greece (where Syrian refugees on the beach are deemed to be spoiling his view), flashbacks to the Commons session, and interviews by the writer penning his biography, a portrait builds of a smash and grab operator who has spent his life ripping off the less fortunate.

Coogan plays McCreadie with his trademark relish for taking apart prattish egomaniacs. He gives good swagger does Mr Coogan, and his cursing is top notch. There is much to enjoy, too, in Isla Fisher’s turn as his wife, plus a best of British contemporary comedy cast that includes David Mitchell as the biographer, Shirley Henderson as McCreadie’s terrifying Irish ma, and Paul Higgins as a financial journalist.

This is the latest in a long line of Winterbottom-Coogan projects that have included The Trip television series, The Look of Love, Tristram Shandy, and 24 Hour Party People. Winterbottom has a laid back comedy style that is easy to relax into.

Part of the problem is this chillaxed style, though. Had the movie tried harder it could have been less predictable and more savage. The target, a greedy businessman, is too on the money, and not knowing precisely what it wants to take a pop at – business, celebrity, the press – the screenplay lands dull blows on all.

Compared to the takedowns of business and the rich in Adam McKay’s The Big Short and more recently Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite, Greed is a tame affair, The Good Life to HBO’s Succession. Not so much Greedy McCreadie, the nickname the character exults in, as weedy.