Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free Money (1998)

I went in to Free Money thinking that it was going to be another bad comedy from the nineties, and I was actually quite pleasantly surprised. It’s really not that bad of a movie. Admittedly it is very dumb, and rather unoriginal but there was something about it that I really found rather charming.

The movie starts out with teenage identical twins daughters Inga and Liv (Christin and Holly Watson in their only roles, cinematic or otherwise) telling their father (Marlon Brando) that they are pregnant. The soon to be fathers are lifetime losers Bud (Charlie Sheen) and Larry (Thomas Haden Church). Bud and Larry are terrified of the girls' father, who is the warden of the state prison and nicknamed The Swede. The Swede has a reputation for his brutality, and is currently being investigated by beautiful FBI agent Karen Polarski (Mira Sorvino) for the death of an attempted escapee.

They throw together a shotgun wedding, and Bud and Larry are now in it for better or worse (pardon the PUN) with the twins and The Swede. The girls insist they move in with their father, and there are strict rules placed on the new husbands. Bud and Larry end up hating their lives living with The Swede so much that they hatch a plan to hold up a train coming through the area. The train is transporting old worn out money that is being taken out of circulation. The train engineers are local idiots Louis and Dwayne, and Bud is able to get inside information out of them because of their naivety and ignorance. Bud insists that his plan is flawless and that it will have them set for life so they can take Inga and Liv and get as far away from The Swede and humanly possible. Of course everything goes awry.

There are definitely a lot of things that this movie needs to improve on. For example director Yves Simoneau lacks any real directional skill. He has no distinguishing trademarks, he seems to just set up a camera and shoot. Absolutely no artistry. Also, as I mentioned before, the story is completely unoriginal. There are some new aspects to it, like the daughters still being in high school, but for the most part it's nothing we haven't seen before.

I think what really made me enjoy the movie though is the performance by Charlie Sheen. Personally I consider Sheen to be a great comedic actor, as he has proven in such movies as Major League and television programs Spin City and Two and a Half Men. Thomas Haden Church is also quite funny; he really does a great job in this film with outstanding comedic timing and a spot-on midwestern accent.

Free Money really has gotten a bad rap, undeservedly so in my opinion. I think that when people saw Oscar winners Marlon Brando and Mira Sorvino attached they went in expecting something great, but that's not what they got. If you go in to this movie just looking for a fairly good time then you won't be disappointed. Overall 2.0/4 Stars Grade = C

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Holly & Christin Watson? Seems like they did the film, Free Money, & disappeared.