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IN SHORT: Chris Tucker is funnier in a dress.
Money Talks features the return of the high pitched squeal and ten mile a second shriek of Chris Tucker, last seen in a lovely gown under the name of Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element. (Ruby was a character, along the lines of yer "God-why-can't-I-close-my- jaw/ what-the-hell-is-that-thing-on-screen" kind of character, just in case you've forgotten.) Franklin Hatchett, the new character is just a fast talking, high pitched shrieking, four letter word spewing, annoying son of a bitch.
Funny muddafadda, though. At times.
A second rate con man, Hatchett is a ticket scalper whose made a habit of selling nosebleed seats for sideline prices. This brings him to the attention of action reporter James Russell (Charlie Sheen). Charlie's been on a roll lately, and finally breaks his streak of absolutely sucky performances by going back to comedy, which he can do passable well.
As a pretty boy newscaster, in the Geraldo Rivera wannabe mode, Sheen's character is out of work, paired up with Tucker and wanted for murder faster than Carl Lewis can run a 40 yard dash. Add to the mix (#1) his impending wedding to Grace Cipriani (Heather Locklear, who looks a lot better on TV. Go figure). Grace's family is ridiculously rich and sorely lacking in exposure to people of color. Why Sheen and Tucker are buddies is rooted in a joke I just won't give away.
The all over the place plot involves foreign criminals, an explosion filled escape from a jail bus, urban gun runners and Cranky's old pal Damian Chapa as a loanshark out for Tucker's behind. And $15,000,000 hidden in the dashboard of a soon to be auctioned Jaguar once owned by Princess Grace of Monaco, and now coveted by mobsters. Sorvino, at Tucker's urging, is determined to win the car as a wedding present. Though the auction is wordless, your local theater will be filled with shrieks of laughter, as Sorvino and the mobsters go back and forth. Tucker is out in the hall beating up on Sheen.
Money Talks is just as frenetic as Tucker's wordplay. To be fair, when the guy hits his groove, there's no place to duck. You gotta laugh, 'cuz if the language had bothered you, you would've been out of the theater by then. But for an over the top plot to hold pace with over the top action (did I mention explosions yet?) and wordplay going a mile a minute, you'd be well advised to pop two quaaludes before you settle in so your body clock resets itself to slow motion. Then, you'll have a blast.
Not that Cranky is advocating any illegal drug use, you understand.
Sheen and Tucker, for all the faults of the movie make a good pair. There's some lovely, if predictable, white boy/ghetto speak dialoging that's pretty funny but, for the most part, it's a slew of four letter words.
Though I finally learned what PHAT means.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Money Talks, he would have paid . . .
The auction scene alone is almost worth this pay-per-view rating of $4. With everything else piled on, Cranky felt as if his head had been pureed in a Mixmaster.
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