‘Cash Out’ Movie Review: John Travolta Needs a Career Intervention

3 min read

If nobody cares enough to stage a career intervention, then it’s up to John Travolta to rescue himself. Courtesy of Saban Films

John Travolta doesn’t act much anymore. Call it semi-retirement. On the rare occasion when someone talks him into taking up his old position before the camera, it’s always either a favor for a pal who needs a job or an exercise in poor judgment that raises some financing for a bomb that otherwise would never be made. This is the only reason I can think of for a trash wallow called Cash Out.

CASH OUT(1/4 stars)
Directed by: Ives
Written by: Dipo Oseni, Doug Richardson
Starring: John Travolta, Kristin Davis, Lukas Haas
Running time: 90 mins.

In this time waster, the star plays Mason Goddard, a thug with a penchant for masterminding major heists like bank robberies, and an idiot brother with a talent for screwing them up. For suspense, Mason spends his life planning and negotiating chief larcenies and figuring out ingenious ways to make them work. For laughs, he’s got a part-time girlfriend named Amelia (Kristin Davis) who works for the FBI without his knowing it. (Pretty stupid for a criminal on the most-wanted list.) Amelia works hard to catch him with a pleasant side effect of champagne, caviar and sex. First, we see Mason trying to steal a valuable, once-in-a-lifetime sports car. He gets caught, and the experience so unnerves him that he retires and moves to an island to drink beer by the case and let himself go to pot, in more ways than one.  

Next, his idiot brother Shawn (Lukas Haas) tries in vain to talk Mason into making a comeback with one last “sure-fire”  caper—stealing from a bank in downtown Seattle a safety deposit box containing the combination for a fortune in cryptocurrency. When Shawn’s plan goes south, it’s up to Mason to rescue his kid brother while the cops and the FBI surround the bank, all under the command of Mason’s old lover, Amy. As the dumb plot thickens, so does this preposterous couple’s romance. While waiting for reinforcements, she orders a pile of boxes and serves the crooks and their nine hostages pizzas. You can sum it up with a few smiles, a weak premise that never pays off, and a narrative that is nothing more or less than a big piece of zero.

The moronic, one-dimensional screenplay by Dipo Oseni and Doug Richardson (two credits to forget immediately) is awkward and clumsy, and the jerky direction is by someone with the pseudonym IVES. I don’t blame him for wanting to keep his real identity a secret. It would be a shame if it got out. It’s nice to see Kristin Davis in a larger role than just a supporting sidekick on Sex and the City. As for Travolta, he shuffles through the whole thing scruffy and bald, without bothering to reveal anything about the character he plays. Cash Out provides a paycheck for John Travolta, but it’s nothing to write home about for the weary audience that suffers through it. If nobody cares enough to stage a career intervention, then it’s now up to John Travolta to rescue himself.

Who Let John Travolta Agree to the Trash Wallow That Is ‘Cash Out’?

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