“Every con has its pigeon”, is one of the more memorable quotes from the beginning of Cash. Unfortunately the con is Cash and I am the pigeon.
The prologue to the film shows the titular character’s brother murdered whilst on the job. Cut forward a few months and we are introduced to Cash, played by John Dujardin, in the process of wooing Garance in order to become close to her father ( Jean Reno). At the same time Cash is selling counterfeit notes to a mercenary Letallec and is also being tracked by renegade cop Lieutenant Julia Molina.
When Letallec discovers that he has been duped by Cash ( he was made to believe that real Euro notes were his produced counterfeits) he seeks to take vengeance and in doing so forces Cash and Molina together. Molina wants in on the big job that she has discovered Cash and his team are about to become involved in, she needs the money as a retirement fund because Internal Affairs is closing in her unlawful police activities. Keeping up ? There is a lot going on in this film.
Early in the film the revelation that Garance and her father, Maxime, are themselves in a band of international thieves, gives the remainder of the film some promise but instead it is at this point that the film becomes convoluted.
The film feels like a collection of sub plots with out a convincing main story to tie them all together. There is the back story about the murder of Cash’s brother which never really becomes relevant enough to be considered important; the implied sexual tension between Molina and Cash that is never expanded upon; the relationship between Molina and her informant in Cash’s gang that is also not taken further; why do some people in the police office speak English to one another but French to other?; the friction between Cash and his main partner over the death of Cash’s brother and the potential relationship between Garance and Cash. All things in the movie that are not adequately explained or concluded by the time the film ends, not in an ambiguous, the audience can decide for themselves way, but a lazy, we can’t be bothered to tidy up our script way. All of which is compounded by the ream of expository dialogue that tries to help the audience through the script but instead steers any interest away from the film.
The constant sound of jazz-funk being faded in every time an important piece of action finishes gives the film the feeling of a cheap hotel elevator. The tone set by the soundtrack gives the impression that the filmmakers wanted the movies to be a light-hearted, breezy action film,something that is direct disagreement with the DVD cover, but instead it has been littered with unnecessary additions to the plot and becomes to hard to follow or be interested in to be an effective straight forward crime caper.
All of this ends up as a film that is startlingly hard to a write a review of. The main performances are passable. Jean Reno does what he does best with out getting out of second gear and Jean Dujardin is charming almost to the point of annoyance but manages to remain on the right side of likeable. The film is also well shot, Eric Besnard, in his second feature film as director crafts some energetic, modern shots. None of this, however, can save the film from the jumbled mess that it becomes despite notable twists in the plot throughout the heist.
Director: Eric Besnard
Main Cast : Jean Dujardin, Jean Reno, Valeria Golino, Alice Taglioni
Run time: 98 mins
Certificate : 15