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capsule : an insult .
a stupid and incompetent movie that doesn't even have the benefit of being trashily enjoyable .
weslely and woody would do well to leave this off their resumes .
money train is one of the worst movies i have ever seen .
it's not simply idiotic , it's contemptuous of its audience .
it tries to make us swallow things that a better movie would be stopped cold by or just plain omit entirely .
it's a waste of wesley snipes and woody harrelson , who are enjoyable actors in their own rights but are nauseating here .
it's not even fun as trash .
woody and wesley star ( maybe that's not the right word ) as new york city transit authority police .
they have a job which could actually be the core of a really interesting movie : one of them plays drunk possum to attract chain-snatchers and the other does lookout .
i had a whole headful of legal and ethical questions surrounding this , raised by a documentary i'd seen on the subject once , but the movie does not waste any time with being intelligent or thought-provoking .
see if you can follow this .
they chase a kid down the tunnel and into the station where the " money train " , the heavily armored car that picks up all the cash from the token books , is parked .
the guards on the train see this kid running at them , lift their machine guns , shout " halt ! "
and then open fire when the kid doesn't stop running at them .
blam , the kid's dead .
then woody and wesley show up , and of course the other ta cops hate them ( why ? ) , and a pushing match starts , and someone gets decked , and . . . i covered my face .
i'd seen enough .
i've never seen a movie work so hard and in so little time to destroy , systematically , any chance of being credible or interesting .
fed up with the bs at their job ( most of it their own goddamned fault ) , woody and wesley hatch this plot about how to rob the money train .
hence the title , in case some of you ( all two of you ) didn't figure it out yet .
then there's this subplot about a maniac who torches token book clerks , * and * a love story , * and * a holdup -- no , two holdups , sorry , easy to lose track in a movie this braindead -- * and * a mob boss who wants his money .
there wasn't a minute when i gave a horse's ass about any of it .
neither woody nor wesley play characters that are interesting for a single minute .
we do not care about them .
they are not interesting .
they are noisy , loud , stupid , foolish jerks who whould have flunked out of the police academy .
they deserve to get shot -- or run over , as the case may be .
they only exist to rehash the kind of dynamics that was * written * into a movie like white men can't jump , and which simply does not exist here .
they are idiots , and we're expected to root for them .
bullcrap .
the movie is completely schizophrenic in its tone and texture .
what exactly is this mess ?
a cop movie ?
police procedure is not given a moment's genuine thought anywhere .
a thriller ?
the subplot with the token booth killer is inept , a throwaway that should have been ditched in the rewrite .
a comedy ?
the few jokes that do work are wasted .
a drama ?
all dramatic tension between both principals is freeze-dried and off-the-rack .
there's not a moment in the movie where i felt like i was listening to genuine human beings talk ; it's all screenwriterese , that bizarre analect where every sentence ends in a punchline and the primary mode of expression is the unique conjunctions of four-letter words .
( actual dialogue excerpt : " fuck you . "
" what ? "
" you heard me : fuck * you * . "
" no : fuck * you * ! " )
look . i'll be honest here .
i've tried writing screenplays , and even * i * suspect that if i tried to pitch this mess , i'd get laughed out of the office .
anyone interested in hearing my ideas for a few good movies can write me and hear my pitch , because god knows i know i can do better .
i've weasted enough time on this piece of tripe .