Blood Money is very disappointing from a director I’m normally a huge fan of. This is a standard and forgettable thriller that I can’t really recommend.
Synopsis: Three friends on a wilderness excursion must outrun a white-collar criminal hell bent on retrieving his cash, but soon their greed turns them against each other.
Review: At the end of every rainbow isn’t always a pot of that 14K. In fact, at the end of some rainbows there’s a very heavy price to pay for a sack full of cash. In Blood Money, three childhood friends – Victor (Ellar Coltrane), Lynn (Willa Fitzgerald), and Jeff (Jacob Artist) – have all grown up and developed complicated relationship statuses with each other, and they decide to take a camping trip to rekindle friendly feelings, but when they find millions of dollars in cash in duffle bags floating in the river, their lives take an unfortunate turn for the worse. A desperate criminal (played by John Cusack in an understated performance) is looking for the money that he dropped out of a plane, and just when he thinks it’s all lost for good, he encounters the three young adults who’ve found his stash. Just as the audience is beginning to think the criminal is the villain of the story, the plot shifts gears and turns the three friends against each other over the cash and how to handle their pursuer. Lynn, who has been established as the object of affection for both Victor and Jeff, becomes obsessed with keeping the money at any cost, and as she morphs into a truly shocking antagonist in the story, we begin to root for the criminal to get his money back. It’s a bizarre approach to an otherwise standard thriller.
From director Lucky McKee, whom I’ve admired and supported as a filmmaker since his debut film May, the change of pace (for him) thriller Blood Money is the first time I’ve felt let down from him. I loved his films May, Sick Girl, Roman, The Woods, Red, The Woman, and All Cheerleaders Must Die, and I even enjoyed his short film featured in the anthology film Tales of Halloween, but this time his style and unusual knack for making strikingly original horror films is mostly absent from this ugly story. The character that Fitzgerald plays has to be one of the most unappealing and heinous villains I’ve seen in a movie in awhile. The story itself is nothing extraordinary, and while I can appreciate McKee’s need to expand and experiment, I hope he goes back to horror soon.
Available in select theaters and On Demand October 13th