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Laramie Movie Scope:
Money Train

A fatally flawed caper story

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 27, 1995 -- ``Money Train'' is notable only because it inspired a fire bomb attack on a New York transit worker the other day. The man, attacked in the same way a transit worker was attacked in the film, is in critical condition. There's something Hollywood can be proud of.

The story about two transit police brings Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson back together again after their success in ``White Men Can't Jump.''

As in the previous film, Harrelson plays a perpetual screw-up. Instead of being a hustler this time Harrelson's character, Charlie, is a gambling addict who loses large sums of money.

Snipes plays John, Charlie's brother through adoption. Even though Charlie has no redeeming value, John keeps bailing him out of trouble. In terms of the psychology of addiction, this makes John an enabler. Both men fall for a fellow cop, Grace Santiago, played by Jennifer Lopez. Veteran actor Robert Blake plays the mean-spirited Patterson, head of the transit system police.

Charlie screws up on the job and gets both he and John fired. He decides to rob the car that carries the cash from subway stations, the money train, to pay off his gambling debts and have a nice retirement fund. Through very improbable circumstances John and Grace are drawn into the mad scheme.

The story is basically a caper film, but it takes too long to get to the caper. Instead we have to suffer through a bunch of garbage about John and Charlie's uninteresting sibling rivalry and a shallow, boring love triangle subplot. The sparks do not fly. All characters are standard movie cliche issue. The plot is boring and disjointed.

When the caper finally comes, it too, is dull. Most the subway chase scenes are rip-offs of ``Speed,'' but ``Speed'' was much, much better than this. This was a big disappointment for me. I expected much better from the stars of ``White Men Can't Jump.'' It rates a D.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)