This may not be the most well-crafted, or plausible action film but it delivers some laughs, plenty of action, and a solid enough story to keep you entertained.
Written by Doug Richardson, famous for films such as “Die Hard 2: Die Harder” and “Bad Boys”. This one stars; Wesley Snipes (The Expendables 3 2014), Woody Harrelson (Out of the Furnace 2013), Jennifer Lopez (Parker 2013), Robert Blake (Lost Highway 1997) and Chris Cooper (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014).
NYC transit cops, John (Snipes) and Charlie (Harrelson) are also foster brothers who have spent years working the New York subways. John is a by-the-book cop who is growing tired of helping his brother Charlie out of trouble, usually revolving around his gambling problems. When a beautiful transfer Grace (Lopez) arrives to their unit, the competition between brothers for her attention finally breaks the bond of their relationship and Charlie contemplates stealing the very money he is paid to protect.
Many could regard this film as hovering in the popcorn-flick realm, and to some extent they are correct in their assumption. The plot is unrealistic and implausible but it doesn’t hinder the fun this movie delivers. Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson try to pick up the comedic chemistry from their prior film “White Men Can’t Jump” in 1993 an are successful in doing so.
This time, to the tune of a high paced action tale, something both Snipes and Harrelson are able more than capable of pulling off, they work great together. Their onscreen chemistry continues and they are able to deliver some good laughs.They also easily pull off the relationship of foster brothers with a believable relationship. Toss in Jennifer Lopez, in what would be her first major onscreen role, and together the trio work well onscreen and make their characters very likable.
The dynamic of the foster brothers, was amusing in the way the characters handle it throughout the story. The dialogue which is good for the most part other than a few cheesy lines and a couple comedic scenarios that seem to try too hard was surprisingly solid and carries the run-time. This may not be the most realistic story-line but the setting of the holidays, many great locations of NYC, and the charismatic cast make it all work. The film plays out with a swift pace, it doesn’t linger too long in the love triangle, other than a dose of the dynamic here and there to set-up the third-act motives.
The score of the film added some elements of intensity and plays out like a true 90’s action-flick with all the dramatic tones and somber jazz melodies reminiscent of the “Lethal Weapon” films. Chris Cooper as “The Torch” was excellent in the role and his smaller subplot added to the pace of the film and complimented nicely with the overall plot the third-act would follow.
The actions sequences in this film were great. There was plenty of hand-to-hand combat and some classic Wesley Snipes martial-arts. When it came down to the entire train sequence the effects were great and can actually take you back to a time when large sets and stunt work were preferred over computer animation. If this film was made today I am sure the entire sequence would be completed in CGI and the result would have lacked the adrenaline filled intensity this film created.
“Money Train” does not try to be anything other than a fun-filled action film, and the delivery was a success. This is an entertaining film to watch and while it may not be Oscar worthy to many, the action in this one is of a higher level than most. The pace will keep you involved and intrigued until the climactic ending. Woody and Wesley continue their great chemistry and pull off this buddy-cop flick very effectively in my opinion. For anyone who hasn’t seen this one yet, give it a shot.
Time: 110 min
MPAA Rating: R (For pervasive strong language, violence and a sex scene)