December 19, 2017

Blu-Ray Review: BLOOD MONEY (2017)

Starring John Cusack, Willa Fitzgerald, Ellar Coltrane, Jacob Artist. Directed by Lucky McKee. (2017, 89 min).

Treasure of the Sierra Madre, this ain't.

Someone here might have been inspired by it, though, because Blood Money has more-or-less the same plot, only duller, dumber and filled with one-dimensional characters. A seriously slumming John Cusack might - might - make this worth sitting through.

Cusack plays Miller, an embezzler who pulls a D.B. Cooper by parachuting from a plane with millions in cash. However, he loses track of the money and is forced to search the woods for it. Later, three obnoxious, perpetually-bickering college kids find the loot and two of them decide to keep it. The third wants nothing to do with what he suspects is drug money. He's the "smart" one; the other two are so overcome with greed that the prospect of being murdered by Miller doesn't faze them.

Two for flinching.
The movie purports to be about how greed makes good people do terrible things. But unlike the increasingly desperate characters in Treasure of the Sierra Madre, these three kids are assholes from the get-go. Lynn (Willa Fitzgerald), in particular, is horribly-realized, whose sudden self-serving greed makes Daffy Duck look like a philanthropist. She inexplicably belittles & betrays lifelong friends who've constantly had her back, even after one of them has been shot. Cusack, on the other hand, looks like he's having fun in a role one assumes he took to pay the bills. He isn't in the film nearly enough, but his quirky performance is good for a few chuckles.

Elsewhere, Blood Money is overly-serious, boring, generates precious-little actual suspense and comes to a terrible conclusion. A pity, really, because not only is Cusack's talent wasted, director Lucky McGee has done decent work in the past, none of which is apparent here. Perhaps he should go back to making horror films.

FEATURETTE: "Blood Money Uncovered" (making-of)

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