17th Dec2020

‘Money Plane’ VOD Review

by James Smith

Stars: Adam Copeland, Denise Richards, Thomas Jane, Kelsey Grammer, Patrick Lamont, Jr., Katrina Norman, Andrew Lawrence | Written by Tyler W. Konney, Andrew Lawrence, Tim Schaaf | Directed by Andrew Lawrence

Perhaps the most ridiculous movie of 2020, Money Plane is a great example of a movie being green-lit based solely on the star power of its cast. Starring Adam Copeland (WWE’s Edge) in his first lead role and featuring Denise Richards, Thomas Jane, and Kelsey Grammer as the bad guy — you know this will be an entertaining film… if nothing else. Grab your popcorn and prepare for takeoff because today we’re jumping on board the Money Plane.

The direct-to-VOD movie hit home TV screens on 10 July 2020 with a premise of a heist-like caper at 10,000 feet. So, what is a ‘Money Plane’ anyway? I’m so glad you asked. The creatively-named ‘Money Plane’ is a secret “casino” in the air that is known only by the rich and villainous of the world. The games are all high stakes and the proposition bets are extremely dangerous. The idea is that the dangerous deeds committed on a ‘Money Plane’ are somehow legal due to the plane’s location over international waters. A bit far-fetched, however, since all aircraft in today’s day-and-age are easily tracked during takeoff and landing and supervised throughout flight via radar, meaning any den of illicit vice could be shut down immediately by any federal agent who cared to make a phone call.

The most interesting and informative description of ‘Money Plane’ is made by Kelsey Grammar’s character, The Rumble, who says, “There is a legend in the underworld, for those in the know, it’s called the Money Plane. Some of the baddest motherfuckers on the planet are on that plane, craving action, whatever you wanna wager on, Money Plane has you covered.” There are more convenient places to make a bet than in an airborne casino. The idea that you could cram an entire movie’s worth of action and a casino inside a plane without Samuel L. Jackson punching snakes is a bit laughable.

The main character of our masterpiece is Jack Reese, supposedly the best poker player in the world is played by Edge, a man world-renowned for his incredible choreographed fighting skills. Yet somehow, throughout the movie plays only one hand of poker that he loses after going all-in with a pair of fours followed by one fistfight with the Money Plane’s gigantic co-pilot. What are the odds? Jack is accompanied on his mission by a cast of crazy characters as well. His computer expert, Trey (played by Patrick Lamont, Jr.), his weapons expert, Isabella (Katrina Norman), and the lookout/crypto-transfer beacon, Iggy (Andrew Lawrence). The majority of the fighting and action scenes go to Jack and Isabella, who actually shows considerable skill at close-quarters combat.
The Rumble, a character best described as Sideshow Bob meets Scarface, is definitely the most interesting face in the crowd. Kelsey Grammar’s portrayal of Darius Emmanuel Grouch III (yes, that’s his real name) will keep him in villainous roles for the rest of his career. The other characters are almost as forgettable as the plot.

Money Plane begins with an art heist that goes wrong, leaving the main character, Jack Resse (Adam “Edge” Copeland), severely indebted to the terrifyingly-named, The Rumble (Kelsey Grammar). In order to clear his debts with the mob kingpin, Jack must do one last job where the stakes have never been higher. His assignment is to get aboard the secret ‘Money Plane’ and rob it. Seems simple enough, right? By assuming the identity of a cunning human trafficker, Jack Reese must steal all of the cash in the plane’s vault as well as hack and transfer all of the cryptocurrency to The Rumble’s secret account. The majority of the film is dedicated to decently-entertaining fight scenes aboard ‘Money Plane’ with the rest of the movie a chuckle-worthy combination of comedic bits interwoven with evil people being as evil. The prop bets are the deadliest scenarios you’ll see, with characters surrounded by flight staff with absolutely no conscience or moral fibre to speak of.

If campy, B-movie action films are your thing then you will absolutely love Money Plane. While the plot, cast, and cameos might seem like a winner on paper, the low-budget production and wooden acting of the actors (excluding Kelsey Grammar, of course) didn’t pan out so well in its execution. The action scenes are campy, the science and computer hacking are implausible at best, and both the humour and “danger” remain relatively tame at best. It’s a bit disappointing because a heist on an aerial casino actually sounds pretty sweet. It’s a shame they couldn’t have taken Money Plane into a sci-fi direction with a massive floating casino instead of a Boeing 747.

Everything could have been elevated a bit more to push this long-shot into a place of truly wicked entertainment. Until then maybe stick with Heat (1995) or Point Break (1991) for a classic heist experience.


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