Blood Money (IV) (2017)
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Embezzler Miller (John Cusack) parachutes down with four heavy bags, $8 million dollars in stolen currency. As he lands he gets separated from his loot which Lynn finds in her early morning run. Lynn can really use that money but we are never told why. Victor though wants to give the money to the authorities. When a park ranger gets shot, things turn deadly for the trio as Miller dressed like a Metallica roadie, pursues them.
It really is sad to see John Cusack reduced to appearing in these low budget VOD films. It was only a few years ago he was in big budget disaster film such as 2012. He plays a darkly comic role of someone who does not want to hurt anyone, he just wants his money.
Blood Money is an updated version of Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It adds a femme fatale character in Lynn, it seems her two best friends have never noticed her conniving side.
The film is rubbish though, cheap, flat looking, it only comes to life at the latter stages. When the action starts it is in a dark tunnel and you cannot see anything but it saved on the budget.
Very straight forward picture with a story that works, but it does not stick out as anything special.
The plot seems more like a thriller but once Cusack officially gets into the mix he's a very light hearted villain (He looks like a prettier Nick Cage in this). Not a blood trusty bad guy, just a man who wants to keep the hard earn money he stole. (and the overall reason for him being a lackluster villain does makes the picture more interesting) . The other three actors in where good as well (The kid from boyhood is in it, that's cool). I loved the realistic interaction of the three people whose friendship was coming apart anyway and how this money dismantled it even further.
It's actually a great plot, but it does fall on deth's ears for me. Just not clicking fully.
The film created four characters with Cusack (the guy with the gun) being the most likable and logical. It tried to create intensity, but the film gave you a teaser opener so we know where the film goes. It is a film I could get half engaged with.
Guide: F-word. Implied sex. No nudity.
Still, despite the jumbled feeling to the narrative, the movie could still have worked, being thrilling and giving insight to the dark side of humanity. But the movie doesn't work in those areas as well. It takes almost half of the movie before things turn dark and dangerous for the central characters. Before that happens, we have to sit through them whining, fighting, and acting selfish. (As it turns out, they keep acting this way through the rest of the movie as well!) It's not that I immediately object to the characters being that way - it's the fact that it's not depicted in an interesting or compelling manner. The characters will instead make you greatly annoyed.
As for John Cusack... with this movie, he finds himself further down in the direct to video hell he has been stuck in for several years. Although he has shown to be a good actor in other movies, he is simply not good here. Miscasting him as a ruthless bad guy certainly hurts, but Cusack himself makes things worse by giving a very bored and phoned-in performance. There is nothing scary about the character he is playing, who should have been ruthless and tough.
To sum up, there is pretty much nothing here to make the movie worth a watch, even if you see it for free on Netflix (where I saw it.) See the movies "Cas$h" or "Night of the Running Man" instead for far better takes on this formula.
The acting is decent enough but most of the characters are extremely unlikable and keep making dumb decisions. The girl is manipulative bordering on psychotic and will do anything for the money. Her current boyfriend is dumb and goes along with whatever the girl wants and the third guy was her ex and just doesn't want the money but doesn't seem to realize that everyone else will do anything to keep it. The most interesting of the characters is the criminal played by John Cusack but even his actions are inexplicable at times eg losing the money and then spending the next day not really actively looking for it but strolling through the woods. He also seems to have no clue about tracking yet he keeps on locating the people who stole his loot.
The end of the movie is supposed to be a big twist but is just unrealistic, predictable, annoying and unoriginal. Overall it's a weak story and a forgettable film.
For some reason of late Cusak has taken on roles in movies far beneath his abilities. Most have gone straight to DVD. But in each he never stops offering a solid performance in whatever role he's given. This has happened with several stars and I've never understood why. I'm left believing that a lot of it has to do with ageism, a prejudice against stars who are no longer their young selves. Rather than, as in the past, allow stars to age gracefully and continue making movies with roles for them to be featured in, Hollywood seems intent on featuring nothing but young new actors.
Had that been the case in the past imagine all that we would have lost. No Bogart in THE AFRICAN QUEEN. No Cary Grant in NORTH BY NORTHWEST. So many great performances would have not existed. Rather than a middle aged James Bond we'd have had the latest teen heartthrob in the role. The thing is this. When you see John Cusak's name on the cover of a DVD the odds are these days it won't be as good a film as he's done in the past. But his performance will be.
Which brings us to BLOOD MONEY. The movie is actually better than you would think. Three college age friends set out for a river trip, reuniting after time spent away at school. Victor (Ellar Coltrane) has remained behind in their hometown working minimum wage jobs. Jeff (Jacob Artist) comes from a wealthy family and is doing well. And Lynn (Willa Fitzgerald) is still running, her athletic scholarship keeping her in college. Having had a leg injury she's still not on top but she's mending and working out.
With memories of their past in hand they three best friends head to the forest and river to spend the weekend, reliving their shared time together. Victor still pines for Lynn, the girl he knew growing up with and who he fell in love for. But unbeknownst to Victor, Jeff and Lynn have become an item, something he will learn along the way.
At the same time their journey begins we witness someone parachute from a small plane, dropping a package at the same time. The plane, unattended, crashes and the individual and package are separated, the package falling into the river. This is Miller (Cusak), a man trying to leave the world behind whose path will cross with the three friends.
It is Lynn who discovers the package dropped by Miller, bags containing $80 million dollars. Victor believes they should contact the police. Jeff is willing to go along with whatever Lynn says. But it is Lynn who becomes the most changed person when presented with the opportunity for all of this money. Her greed takes control and like the figure of Gollum from the RINGS trilogy she covets the money more than anything in the world. The contest for who gets the money, whether Miller is able to get his money back and what each is willing to do for what they want forms the basis for this movie.
The film isn't just about greed though that plays a major role in the proceedings. As much on that topic it's also about desperation. Each of the characters has some form of that moving them forward. For Victor it is his hope of reuniting with Lynn, something that happened before she left for college. For Jeff it is winning the affections of Lynn for himself. For Miller it is the chance to take his ill-gotten gains and remove himself from society. But it is Lynn who is revealed to be the most desperate of the four characters. It is Lynn who is changed by the money more than any other. Just how far and if she is willing to lose herself completely to it, moves this movie to its conclusion.
Cusak, the heavy this time, does a solid job here while not really being the central character. His part here feels more like a role he took on to pay back someone of to get a paycheck. That doesn't mean he doesn't perform well, just that this is not like past leading roles he would have taken on. Both Artist and Coltrane do a good job here as well, making their characters believable. But it is Fitzgerald who shines here. With each passing moment this young woman who would normally play out as a victim in most films becomes more frightening than that of what we assume to be a criminal and killer. That she accomplishes this slowly displaying pieces of her character one at a time is a credit to her skills.
The movie is definitely not a major blockbuster styled film but it does offer a nice showcase for all involved. It's also not a bad movie on the whole and will entertain from start to finish. So if you're looking for something to rent this week then this one might not be a bad choice.
At first talk about the plot. This movie has a very ordinary plot with no twist and turn. The story is three friend becomes greedy as they achieved a handsome amount of money.Then they try to take on each other. Such a cheap story. Many times we have seen these type of plots. Don't want to see any more.
Then talk about the acting. Acting have been very very normal. No speciality in them. No way these acting can demonstrate a good film. Directions is also not upto the mark..it has no coordination in between the plot and camera..So frustating to see John cusack became the part of it.
I have to give rating point 1/10 as there is no number in rating below 1.But I think it deserves Negative mark such as -10/10 in the rating......
In the interviews with the cast on the DVD behind-the-scenes segment, actress Willa Fitzgerald noted the "ugly levels of humanity" uncovered in her character due to the allure of the money that she finds on a rafting expedition with two friends. The film starts with the two young men (Vic and Jeff) departing on their outing with Lynn without a care in the world. But the discovery of the money leads to conflicting responses about what to do with the treasure.
As described in the bonus track of the DVD, the filmmakers wanted three different character responses to the money: (1) return it (Vic), (2) leave it alone (Jeff), or (3) keep it (Lynn). While pursued by the incompetent embezzler (played with some sly humor by Cusack), the three youngsters come into conflict due to their different perspectives on what to do with the money. It turns out that the alpha female Lynn will be the catalyst for a transformation of the group that resembles the boys on the island in "Lord of the Flies."
The character of Lynn (Cheetah) is best described by Mr. Miller as "entitled, embittered, and angry." Actress Willa Fitzgerald noted that her role was an expression of "something new as a woman in film." But as a dramatic character, there was nothing new in Lynn since the creation of Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth when a basically decent character succumbs to the temptation of greed that leads to evil actions.
In this film, the evil was effectively juxtaposed with the beautiful environment of the woods and the river in the location filming around Savannah, Georgia. While "Blood Money" lacked a dynamic ending, it was nonetheless a well-crafted and suspenseful morality play with a fine set of performances.
The Group- 3 friends 1 female 2males, as if this is not cliche enough. You know one of them had sex with her before the other and one is jealous. but the way its written it irritates you to the point of hating the character through the whole movie. They don't even come across as childhood friends. more like college buddies for 3 years. The Female- To many things are wrong with her. First, who goes out camping with two guys in which at some point in time you had sex with?? Why didn't you tell the new boo thing what happen between you and old boo thing? We have to find out when old boo talks to the guy that lost the money. Instantly after finding the money you are already scheming and plotting. No build up to it. Yea ok your life is trash but by the time the end of the movie can and for everything you done to get it, WHAT DO YOU NEED THE DAMN MONEY FOR EXACTLY. Like what was so... important for you do be compelled to treat those with you the way you did and do the things you did? WHY...WHY WAS THIS LEFT OUT OF THE MOVIE?
The Man that lost the money- Ok as i stated how the hell did you lose that amount of money? Like, what hell were you doing to be parted from it like that. Second, how much did you really look for this money? Obviously, the money was on the river sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo yeah um what are you doing deep in the woulds. Did the money thing to go wash its faces by the bank? He is awkwardly calm at points and extreme at others. Push the cop kill him, screw see if he has a phone as you say you got to call 911 but grab the gun. Yes... makes sense, yup suurrree does.
The movie could of been a flip book on some post-its. i feel like me and a few other reviewer could of made this in a backyard with a guest appearance. I am not a Cusack fan but this was beneath him. I hope he did this to try an give a boost to those others careers.
But hey I say watch the movie apparently people like my self don't take heed to warnings and reviews. Hell one guy said it was a "GOOD LESSON..." If thats what you are looking for this is your 10star movie look no further. I truly wish you could give negative red stars on on here.