Thursday, April 25, 2024

Cash Out, Starring John Travolta

It is always super-awkward running into an ex, but especially so during a hostage crisis. Mason Goddard could simply release Amelia Decker if she were one of the hostages, but since she is the FBI negotiator, he is stuck with her. She almost busted him once, but she is the least of his problems in [just plain] Ives’s Cash Out, which releases tomorrow in theaters and on-demand.

Goddard really digs Decker until she foils his plan to steal a collection of rare sports cars. He escapes justice, but lands in a deep depression. As a result, he is not paying sufficient attention to the hair-brained caper his idiot little brother Shawn cooks up for the gang until it is too late. He tries to abort, but things just spin out of control too quickly.

Supposedly, they are looking for a crypto-wallet in a certain safety-deposit box, but it soon becomes clear they were set up. There is still a fateful box, but it is very different from what they were led to believe. The owner also happens to be the kind of shady billionaire smart crooks avoid crossing. However, the payoff could be huge.

The bank job-hostage crisis business in
Cash Out is surprisingly well done. This is definitely another VOD thriller for John Travolta, but it could have been one of his better ones. Frustratingly, the film loses massive credibility points when the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) take control of the response away from Decker, at the billionaire’s behest. Repeat after me: the CIA has no domestic operating authority, so if they took over an FBI operation, the Attorney General would be in the Oval Office raising H-E-double hockey sticks. This is what happens when public schools stop teaching civics.

Nevertheless, Travolta looks like he is having a good deal of fun playing Goddard. He also has decent chemistry with Kristin Davis, as the reasonably competent and intuitive Special Agent Decker. Frankly, it is rather nice to see a mainstream commercial film featuring a romantic couple who are both over fifty.

Lukas Haas is also convincingly moronic as Shawn Goddard and rapper Quavo brings some fresh energy as their accomplice, Anton. Yet, the film conspicuously lacks a strong villain. It just casts shade on generic Special Forces Officers and high-raking FBI officials. In real life, these are the people who are responsible for protecting society—so more points off.

Still, it is good to see some signs of life from Travolta. The film is not terrible, but it should have been so much smarter. It is a closer call than usual, but
Cash Out just doesn’t cut it when it releases tomorrow (4/26) in theaters and on digital.