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“One for the Money” Fails to Live up to Original Story

Comedies featuring bounty hunters, such as “The Rundown,” usually draw audiences in with their heart-stopping action scenes and rugged, tough characters. But “One for The Money” doesn’t fulfill the classic bounty hunter criteria, and the movie did not live up to expectations. If the corny jokes weren’t bad enough, the bad acting made the movie a tough 115 minutes to sit through.

The film, based on the best selling “Stephanie Plum” book series by Janet Evanovich, features the desperate, out of work, jersey-girl Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) going to work for her cousin’s sketchy bond agency as a bounty hunter. There, she discovers police officer Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara) is wanted for $50,000 for first degree murder. Morelli happens to be the man who never called her back in high school, broke her heart and caused her to hold a grudge against him for years. Of course, never saw that one coming.

After a chance and unrealistic encounter with Morelli, Plum goes on a useless cat-and- mouse chase for sources who were there the night of the crime.  After befriending experienced bounty hunter, Ranger (Daniel Sunjata), and a friendly prostitute, Lula (Sherri Shepard), Plum finally gets back on track. She finds Morelli and other dangerous criminals, which, of course, bring her to danger.  Until the end the film is pretty much just bickering back and forth from Plum and Morelli along with some predictable plot twists. It only took me half the movie to figure out how it was going to end, we all knew she was going to get the guy.

Overall the movie was a mixture of boring and stupid. It wasn’t even pre-screened for critics and only scored a three percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Everything from the acting to the scenes and scenarios were unimpressive and full of useless dialogue and bad jokes. I was having a better time making fun of the lines with my friends and the other audience members around me than watching the movie itself. Joke after joke fell flat, and I couldn’t tell what was meant to be funny or not.

The action scenes were very limited and extremely boring and fake. There were a few touches like a car blowing up and a shoot out, but that was just about it. All in all  the feature that set me over the edge was bland acting from most of the characters.

Heigl has had some bad performances in her career, but this performance was whole new low. Throughout the entire film you could tell she didn’t care about the character and was just waiting to finish the take so she could get off set. She was also unconvincing as a native New Jersey resident. Her accent was forced and she seemed distracted throughout the entire movie.

The rest of the characters unfortunately followed Heigl’s lead with other dull performances. With the exception of Lula and her sassy attitude, most of the actors acted like they had just been pulled off the sidewalk and thrown onto the set.

Plum really could have been the funniest character in the movie but the comedy just wasn’t there. The forced chemistry between Plum and Morelli constantly confused with their love hate relationship. Combine that with the cast members fake and annoying New Jersey accents I was ready for the movie to end about half way through.

With the exception of a few funny and small characters I was ultimately bored and disappointed by Hiegl’s flat performance. If you are looking for a good story involving Stephanie Plum, I would suggest reading the books instead.

One out of Four Stars

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Sarah Berger

Sarah Berger is a junior. This is her second year on staff and she is the news section editor and a copy editor. Read Full »

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