Review: Blood and Money

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

PLOT: A retired veteran hunting in the woods discovers the body of a woman and a suitcase full of  cash. After deciding to hide the money, he soon comes face to face with a group of criminals hell bent on keeping it for themselves.

REVIEW: It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Liam Neeson take on villainous baddies that are half his age. Aside from making an appearance in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, his last feature was far from his standard fare as ORDINARY LOVE is a very different type of flick for Mr. Neeson. However, he’s not the only veteran actor ready to step back into the action genre. In BLOOD AND MONEY, Tom Berenger returns to take on a bunch of deadly criminals looking for stolen cash. Thankfully, the actor hasn’t been resting on his laurels too much as he’s still involved in the SNIPER franchise.

Berenger is Jim Reed, a retired veteran who spends much of his time deep in the woods hunting. While out on one of his excursions, he discovers the victim of an accidental shooting, and a large suitcase filled with cash. Disturbed and horrified at what he’s found, he decides to come back and hide the money in a nearby cave, especially after hearing reports of a deadly robbery that appears to be connected to the woman and cash he found. Then things get complicated as the remaining thieves come back for their reward. Soon, Jim is facing off against a group of men who only have need for one thing, and they aren’t interested in sparing anyone’s life to get it.

Blood and Money, Tom Berenger, John Barr, Kristen Hager, Paul Ben-Victor, action, 2020One of the main problems that prohibits BLOOD AND MONEY from being a bit stronger is a very slow opening act, and a few really odd choices made by Jim and even the myriad of ruffians he’s fighting off. Jim’s motivation isn’t always clear and one specific action he takes didn’t quite sit well with this viewer. However, once we find him in a face off with the younger criminals, the film offers a little more energy and tension. In fact, as dull as the first few moments in the film are, the final act is far more risky and satisfying than you’d expect. It’s an intriguing finale that manages to be slightly more surprising than one would expect. Thankfully the script by John Barr – with revisions by Alan Petherick – manages to create a solid atmosphere with an intriguing lead character.

Barr, who also directed, has given Berenger chance to prove that he’s still a solid leading man when it comes to action films. Yet Jim Reed never feels like some sort of exaggerated superhero. For the most part, it’s fairly believable that he could survive the danger presented to him. However, the group of robbers aren’t quite as interesting. Aside from Paul Ben-Victor, most of them don’t stand out too much. They are simply there as fodder for Reed to dispatch when their time is up. That said, there are a couple of intense kills, and you are fully rooting for Reed whether he’s making the best decisions or not.

Blood and Money, Tom Berenger, John Barr, Kristen Hager, Paul Ben-Victor, action, 2020Another bright spot in the film is the casting of Kristen Hager as a waitress friend of Jim. While she isn’t heavily involved in the more suspense oriented sequences, the two share a couple of nice moments which lead to the satisfying conclusion. This is the feature film directorial debut of cinematographer Barr and it's certainly a pretty one. The snowy landscape of Maine helps make weather nearly as important of a character as Reed himself. It’s a sharp looking feature, one that has a number of tense moments which help escalate the on-screen violence to a stronger than expected thriller.

BLOOD AND MONEY isn’t going to change your world. It’s a familiar story, and it doesn’t quite add anything new to this kind of cat and mouse feature. Yet Tom Berenger gives a solid show as a man placed in an impossible situation. While it would have been nice to have the antagonist a bit more interesting, there is still much to appreciate. Barr has crafted a well made thriller that does the job it needs to. The beginning may not thrill you, but for the patient audience member, the film is certainly worth taking in if you are looking for an action movie with an impressive ending.

7
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Source: JoBlo.com

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.