Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
Thor
8.25 out of 10

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One For The Money

Cupcake the Bounty Hunter

Rated: PG-13  Violence, sexual references and language, some drug material and partial nudity.
Release Date: January 27, 2012
Runtime: 1 hr 46 min

Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Writers: Stacy Sherman, Karen Ray, Liz Brixius, from the novel by Janet Evanovich
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, John Leguzamo, Sherri Shepherd, Debbie Reynolds, Debra Monk, Daniel Sunjata


SYNOPSIS: Unemployed and recently divorced Stephanie Plum watches as her bills pile up and her car gets repossessed, spending too much time with her family. Settling for a job at her cousin's bail-bond business, her first assignment puts her on the pursuit of a local cop she used to date.

REVIEW: Director Julie Anne Robinson, known for The Last Song and various television projects, takes on the Janet Evanovich novel 'One of the Money'. Published in 1994 and spending 75 weeks on the USA Today top 150 best-selling novels, Evanovich's lead character bounty hunter Stephanie Plum first found her way to the small screen in 2002. Now, with a script written by God Sleeps in Rwanda's Stacy Sherman, first time scribe Karen Ray and 'Nurse Jackie' creater/writer Liz Brixius, Katherine Heigl takes on the Stephanie Plum role on the way up to the big screen.
Out of work Newark Macy's lingerie manager Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl, New Year's Eve) finds that her bills are piling up. As she has dinner with her mom (Debra Monk, The Great Buck Howard), dad (Louis Mustillo, 'Mike and Molly'), and Grams (Debbie Reynolds, The Bodyguard) her car gets repossessed for non-payment. Desperate for work, Stephanie tries for a filing job at her cousin Vinnie's Patrick Fischler, Red State) bail bondsman business. When secretary Connie (Ana Reeder, The Locksmith) tells her she may be better suited for 'skip' work, Stephanie finds out that the guy she gave away her virginity to during high school, Joe Morelli (Jason O'Mara, Resident Evil: Extinction), has skipped his court appearance and could put 10% of the bond - $50,000 - in her pocket if she brought him in. As Stephanie gets her feet wet in the bounty hunter trade, hunky pro hunter nicknamed Ranger (Daniel Sunjata, 'Rescue Me') gets her acquainted with firearms, lock-picking, and the art of investigating, as well as getting her out of a couple embarrassing jams that she gets herself into. During her pursuit of Morelli, fueled partially by the $50,000 cut of the bond and partially by her grudge against Joe for not calling her after they had sex, Stephanie finds herself out-classed at every turn by both fugitive cop Morelli and by the shady characters that she runs into during her investigation. She finds herself in too deep as she has to confront boxing club owner Jimmy Alpha (John Leguizamo, The Lincoln Lawyer), anger-unmanaged fighter Benito Ramirez (Gavin-Keith Umeh, 'Lights Out'), as well as being helped along by a pair of hookers, Lula (Sherri Shephard, The Help) and Jackie (Ryan Michelle Bathe, 'Trauma'). Eventually bringing in Morelli, for love or money, becomes secondary to finding out what really happened the night that off-duty cop Morelli shot and killed a supposedly unarmed heroin dealer named Ziggy.

Katherine Heigl tries to reclaim some of of her action romantic comedy credibility after her turn as a government operatives wife in Killers. As Janet Evanovich's character Stephanie Plum, Heigl uses her quirky charms to bring the character to life on the big screen in a silly but serious way. Like a modern day Nancy Drew with unpaid bills to pay, she sets out in one direction to bring in the former boyfriend bad guy until she realized that there is more to the FTA (Failure to Appear) than meets the eye. Jason O'Mara's Joe is a perfect foil to Plum, using his masculine charms to get out of the jams that Stephanie puts him into. Maybe a little amber of love still could ignite between them 'cause the tension is palpable, for sure.

The rest of the cast add color to the story, resembling a motley crew of an extended New Jersey family for Stephanie to interact with. From an all-too-frank grandma with sex, guns and minor lawbreaking on her mind (just ask a poor turkey on the receiving end of a bullet), to a stereotypical Bail Bonds secretary complete with long nails and a stick of gum between her teeth, to cousin Vinnie who tried to kiss Stephanie on her wedding day (in a bad way), the story is fleshed out with more than just the chase and the case.

Evanovich's story works with Heigl and O'Mara at the lead. Not an over-the-top action-packed affair, One for the Money does still deliver a plucky story at a decent pace. Watching Plum get into delicate predicaments is half the fun. Watching her try to best Morelli is the other half. Who will win out? We think she will get the job done in the end, but at what cost?

Katherine Heigl is cute, funny and capable at Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. With her blond locks turned brown to match her eyes, Heigl takes a step away from her typical look, even if the role is right up her alley. If your expectations are running to a high impact actioner or a total romantic comedy, this will not fit the bill. If you are looking for a nice amalgam of the two, One for the Money may be worth a little pocket change.

WORTH: Matinee or Rental

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