Money Talks

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Money Talks Movie Poster Image
Constant language and violence in dated '90s action-comedy.
  • R
  • 1997
  • 97 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No positive messages in dated '90s action-comedy.

Positive Role Models

Unrealistic characters in an unrealistic story in over-the-top action comedy.

Violence

Action movie violence throughout. A prison bus blows up, and assailants pull up and gun everyone down except for the villain and main character. A helicopter blows up. Shoot outs. Car chases. Characters pistol whipped. Characters punched and beaten. Character killed when stadium lights are knocked over and fall on him. One of the characters sits inside a stadium and shoots a rocket launcher at the bad guys. One of the characters keeps an arsenal of weapons.

Sex

Gratuitous close-up of a woman's rear end in a thong and fishnets.

Language

Constant profanity throughout. "F--k" often used. "S--t" often used. "Motherf---er" used several times. "N" word used a few times. Also: "a--hole," "bulls--t," "ass," "punk-ass," "thick-ass," "son of a bitch," "p---y," "goddamn," "damn," "pissed," "pr--k," "limp-d--k." Middle finger gesture. Italian racial slurs to describe African Americans used twice. Also: "wanker," "stiffy."

Consumerism

Coors Light and Corona signs prominent in a bar.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Martini drinking, champagne drinking, beer drinking. Cigar smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Money Talks is a 1997 action-comedy in which Chris Tucker and Charlie Sheen play an unlikely pair who must survive and somehow stop a violent gang of smugglers. The profanity is wide-ranging and nonstop, including "f--k," "motherf---er," and the "N" word. Slurs are also used. Expect lots of action movie violence, including massive shootouts between the good and bad guys, fighting with everything from fists to guns to rocket launchers. Machine gun-wielding bad guys stop a prison bus and kill everyone on it except for two people before blowing it up. Helicopters explode. Character killed by falling stadium lights. In one scene, there's a close-up shot of a woman's buttocks in a thong and fishnets. Martini, champagne, beer drinking. Cigar smoking.

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What's the story?

In MONEY TALKS, Franklin Hatchett (Chris Tucker) is a small-time conman and ticket scalper working in a car wash. When TV news reporter James Russell (Charlie Sheen) arrives at the car wash to do an expose on Franklin and get him to confess his crimes, the police arrive and arrest him, tipped off by Russell. While en route to jail in a prison bus, Franklin shares handcuffs with a French criminal named Raymond Villard. While crossing a bridge, a gang of machine gun-wielding men circle the bus and kill everyone on board except for Villard and Hatchett, and that's only because he's handcuffed to him. While on the helicopter, Hatchett overhears Villard discussing a secret stash of stolen diamonds, then escapes from the helicopter before he's killed. He soon learns that he's wanted by the police, and reaches out to Russell in the hopes that his reporting can clear his name. Russell, having just been fired by the station manager, is now rehired if he can break this story in times for Sweeps Week. Russell is also engaged to Grace (Heather Locklear), and is on his way to his rehearsal dinner, and must bring Hatchett along. Somehow, this unlikely pair must find a way to prove Hatchett's innocence, prevent Russell's impending marriage plans from falling apart, stop Villard and his henchmen, and find the secret diamond stash.

Is it any good?

Failed chemistry, trite storyline, and dated, but not in a good way. That more or less sums up Money Talks, one of those '90s action-comedies that operates under the assumption that if everything is as exaggerated and over the top as possible -- be it the language, violence, or comedy through shouting -- surely something will work. Of course, movies like these aren't supposed to be groundbreaking cinema of breathtaking originality, but there's a point when all this movie seems to be is an endless succession of explosions, shouted profanities, and something about a missing diamond stash. Overall, this outdated bombast is more likely to induce a headache rather than provoke any laughter. 

Playing the "unlikely partners," Chris Tucker and Charlie Sheen aren't as bad as one might suspect, but it's nothing special, either. Tucker has his moments, but they're few and far between, with so much of his trademark shouting given free rein. With director Brett Ratner, this almost feels like a practice run for the Rush Hour movies they would make together in the near future. There's a running joke involving the 1940s and '50s Italian crooner Vic Damone that almost works due to the utter absurdity of the premise, but it's soon run into the ground faster than it takes jokes to be exhausted in the lesser works of Sir Adam Sandler. It's supposed to be mindless entertainment, but it comes across more as a dated throwback to everything terrible that was hatched out of the bombastically-stupid blockbuster movies of the 1990s.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the use of cursing in Money Talks. Did it add to the comedy, or did it seem gratuitous? Why?

  • What are some other examples of movies in which two characters who are "opposites" must work together to stop the bad guys? How do "opposite" characters enhance comedy? Why do you think this is such a popular storyline in movies?

  • How much of the violence seemed necessary to the story, and where did it seem over the top?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and comedy

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