Stephen Milburn Anderson
Stephen Milburn Anderson
Sean Bean, Chris Hemsworth, Victoria Profeta, Mike Starr, Michael Mantell, Glenn Plummer, Antony Thekkek, Paul Sanchez, Peggy Roeder, Larry Neumann Jr.
Hollywood’s A-listers don’t always start out that way. Typically, it takes time or the right project to give them the break they need. Before that, many actors have to pay their dues and Chris Hemsworth is no stranger to that as Ca$h can attest.
Hemsworth stars alongside Victoria Profeta as his wife when they unexpectedly come into possession of a suitcase full of money, chucked from a passing car involved in a high-speed chase. As the owner of the money, played by Sean Bean, comes looking for it, Hemsworth and Profeta find themselves in a dangerous situation they cannot easily escape from.
There’s little about the writer and director Stephen Milburn Anderson’s fourth and final film (he died in 2015) that hasn’t been seen countless times on the big screen. Notdissimilar from horror films where certain rules are too often ignored by cinematic characters that lead them to danger, Ca$h plays the illicit money thriller for all its worth, never quite finding a way to take the overused concept in a new direction.
As a preliminary acting vehicle for the pre-Marvel Hemsworth, it’s not much of a showcase. He and Profeta are given canned dialogue and tired situations in which to deliver rote line readings and charming, but flaccid personalities. Bean doesn’t offer much more as the only actor with longtime experience in the cast. Like many minor actors of his generation, the desire to appear in any role as long as it brings in a paycheck can be disconcerting for fans. Bean’s lone claim to post-Lord of the Rings fame was playing a patriarch on the first season of the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones. This kind of film is a waste of his talents, but work is work and for some actors, that’s enough.
Ca$h tries desperately to engage the audience in meaningful and exciting ways, but the flaccid action sequences barely punctuate dull interior scenes of Bean menacing Hemsworth and Profeta. If 1994’s The Ref had been remade into a 2010 actioner without the marital squabbling or the established actors, this might well have been the result.
Even a decade ago, direct-to-video features were starting to fade out, being replaced by streaming titles. Ca$h remains one of the last of a dying breed of claptrap, one that was built on the idea that a minor actor from a major motion picture, but with limited longterm prospects as a box office draw, was given a villainous role alongside two young actors hoping to find a way to break through. If you have any desire to see a younger, less buff version of a prominent modern actor given the thankless task of carrying a mediocre film on his shoulders, this one might be for you.
February 8, 2021