Money Talks (1997 film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brett Ratner|
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Edited by||Mark Helfrich|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$48.4 million|
Money Talks is a 1997 American action comedy film directed by Brett Ratner and starring Chris Tucker and Charlie Sheen. It is the first of four collaborations between Brett Ratner and Chris Tucker, with the other three being the Rush Hour series.
Franklin Maurice Hatchett (Chris Tucker) is a small-time car wash hustler and ticket scalper who owes money to a local mob leader named Carmine (Damian Chapa). He gets dimed out to the police by an investigating news reporter named James Russell (Charlie Sheen) after unintentionally thwarting Russell's attempts to have him confess his crimes on camera, and is taken to jail. When placed on a prison transport unit, he is handcuffed to a French criminal named Raymond Villard. The transport unit is attacked on a bridge, with mercenaries killing all the police officers and prisoners except for Franklin and Villard; the mercenaries are Villard's men, but since he is handcuffed to Franklin he decides to bring him for the moment, and they escape on a helicopter with another French criminal named Dubray. While on the helicopter, Franklin overhears the two discussing the location of a cache of stolen diamonds. Franklin then jumps out of the helicopter after realizing that Villard and Dubray plan to kill him. While eating at a local diner, Franklin and Villard's mugshots are shown on the news as the two men who killed several police officers. Two other officers in the diner then recognize Franklin, and chase him into the street. He is able to elude them, and decides to call Russell after seeing his face on an advertisement.
Russell has just been fired from his job at Channel 12 News after arguing with his manager, but convinces Franklin to hide with him since the next week is Sweeps Week. He arranges to get his job back, but plans to keep Franklin hidden until the following Monday. Together they attend Russell's wedding rehearsal dinner, where Franklin meets Russell's fiancé Grace (Heather Locklear), and somehow ingratiates himself to Grace's father (Paul Sorvino) and all the other guests by quoting Barry White and pretending to be Vic Damone's son. In the meantime, two police detectives question Franklin's girlfriend Paula (Elise Neal), and wiretap her phone. After calling Paula, Franklin tries to leave, but realizes that the police are combing the city for him, and convinces Russell to help him. The two rampage all over the city to find clues to clear Franklin's name, including calling a bomb threat on a European nightclub, getting shot at by the police when they visit Paula, and being chased by Villard and Dubray, who murder a shopkeeper in the process, which eventually gets Russell's name involved and spread all over the news. The two visit Franklin's childhood friend Aaron (Michael Wright), a local arms dealer, who gives them guns and promises to help if they get in trouble. The following morning, Franklin convinces Grace's father, under false pretenses and still pretending to be Vic Damone Jr, to take him to the auto expo where he overheard the Europeans had stashed the diamonds. Franklin and Grace's father get into a bidding war with Villard and Dubray over the car with the diamonds inside, which ends with Dubray chaotically chasing Franklin across the city while Villard kidnaps Russell.
Villard then calls Franklin using Russell's phone, and demands the return of his diamonds, or Russell will die. Realizing that he has no chance on his own, Franklin calls the police detectives, Carmine, the French mercenaries, and Aaron, telling them all to meet him at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It is revealed that one of the detectives (Paul Gleason) is a dirty cop working for Villard. A massive shootout ensues in which both police detectives and Carmine and his crew are all wiped out. Aaron shows up with a henchman, an assault rifle, and an RPG, and proceeds to wipe out most of Villard's men, including Dubray. In the meantime, Russell manages to escape from Villard's men, after placing several un-pinned grenades beneath his helicopter, ready to detonate if he tries to take off. He then reunites with Franklin, saving him from being shot by Villard. However, when cornered once again, Franklin realizes the diamonds are not worth dying for, and throws them at Villard's remaining men, who drop their weapons and begin grabbing as many as they can. The police arrive in the meantime. Villard realizes he's lost and tries to escape in the helicopter. However, the grenades Russell placed there earlier detonate as he lifts off the ground, killing Villard. In the end both Franklin and Russell are cleared and branded heroes. Franklin saves an unknown amount of the diamonds and puts one on a wedding ring he gives to Russell, who marries Grace with Franklin as his best man.
A recurring theme is the use of Barry White's song You're the First, the Last, My Everything; Franklin sings along in his car during the opening credits, and he recites the entire first verse at the rehearsal dinner, replacing the pronouns to match up with Russell and Grace.
- Chris Tucker as Franklin Maurice Hatchett
- Charlie Sheen as James Russell
- Gerard Ismael as Raymond Villard
- Heather Locklear as Grace Cipriani
- Elise Neal as Paula
- Michael Wright as Aaron
- Paul Sorvino as Tony Cipriani
- Larry Hankin as Roland
- Paul Gleason as Det. Bobby Pickett
- Daniel Roebuck as Det. Williams
- Frank Bruynbroek as Dubray
- Veronica Cartwright as Connie Cipriani
- Damian Chapa as Carmine
- Faizon Love as Gay Cellmate
- David Warner as Barclay (James' Boss)
The film received negative reviews from critics, and it holds a 16% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 20 critics.
The film debuted at No. 2. It went on to gross over $48 million worldwide.
- "G.I. Jane' Proves Its Mettle in Second Week at Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. September 2, 1997. Retrieved 2010-12-27.