Money Talks

This ain’t no buddy movie, claims the publicity, but that’s precisely what this crude, antihumanistic action comedy is. Like an updated Bob Hope romp, it offers plenty of cowardice and wild-eyed grimacing from star Chris Tucker, but there’s also a lot of blood and corpses to show how much hipper we are than those 1940s audiences of Hope’s. In line with its smirking sense of superiority, pornographic glimpses of guns, cars, and diamonds are at best equated with but generally valued over intimations of bare ass. Tucker plays a Los Angeles con artist who, falsely accused of leading a prison break, turns to a stuffy TV reporter (Charlie Sheen) to clear his name. A couple of OK action set pieces and goofy conceits (such as Tucker posing as the son of Vic Damone and Diahann Carroll) can’t make up for the overall cynicism and stupidity, unless cynicism and stupidity are what you’re looking for. Brett Ratner directed from a script by Joel Cohen (no connection to the director of Fargo) and Alec Sokolow; with Heather Locklear, Elise Neal, and Paul Sorvino. (JR)

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