Having snap judgments about a movie before actually watching can, at times, restrict you from having a good time, and thankfully my preconceived notions of Where’s The Money were misguided. A mixture of internet content creators/stars (Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor, Logan Paul) and acting vets (Kat Graham, Terry Crews), Where’s The Money has its share of comedic surprises up its sleeve.
Andrew Bachelor is Del, a South Central denizen who helps his mother Roberta (Retta from Parks and Recreation) run their family gym. Along with his buddies, dimwitted but well meaning Juice (Allen Maldonado) and the refreshingly level headed Alicia (Kat Graham), Del is struggling to make ends meet in Los Angeles. When his father (Mike Epps) tells Del that there’s a million dollar booty that’s stashed in a flophouse, Del’s fortunes may finally take a turn for the better. His father and uncle (Terry Crews) robbed a bank years ago and are in jail for their crimes, and now Del can reap the benefits of their wrongdoings.
But the flophouse is now a converted frat house for the men of Kappa Alpha Chi, and Del decides to infiltrate the white dominated crew by becoming one of their latest pledges. Though Josh Brener (Silicon Valley) and Logan Paul are part of the brotherhood of bros, it’s Devon Werkheiser who steals the show as frat member Brock (as part of his annoying habit of co-opting black culture, he pronounces his name Barack).
What on the surface could be viewed as a harmless heist comedy with forgettable, slapstick based comedy turns into a subtle examination of racial relations and perception. Del uses “white guilt” to ingratiate himself with the brothers, and though each of them believe that there is not one racist bone in their body, they eventually confront their own short sighted behavior.
Del, whose lack of ambition and self-centeredness has led to his current state of affairs, also has his share of flaws, and his actions may lead to the undoing of his loved ones.
Where’s The Money is not a movie that’s steeped in social satire or heavy handed themes – its obvious selling point is the comedy. If you’re a fan of gross out sequences, a toothbrush and hot tub segment featuring Bachelor and Werkheiser will definitely do the trick, and Werkheiser also has an absolutely disgusting (but hilarious) encounter with Graham.
First time feature filmmaker Scott Zabielski has placed several standout comedic sequences within his 85 minute narrative, and the final sequence, a Mexican standoff of sorts, has an absolutely unexpected (and well done) denouement.
Credit also goes to lead actor Bachelor who, although filled with comedic talent, lets the ensemble steal much of the show (Bachelor’s scene with Epps, which deals with a bedtime story reading in prison, is a particular stand out).
Mixing and matching feature/television and internet celebrities really isn’t as convoluted as it sounds, since at the end of they day they’re all actors. Bachelor and Logan may have millions of viewers on YouTube, Instagram, or whatever social platform they choose, and both prove that their charisma and performing chops also translate into the film world.
I was initially skeptical going into Where’s The Money, but I was pleasantly surprised at how this comedy actually was well worth the time.
Special Features: Over six minutes of deleted scenes are featured in the disc and they’re definitely worth watching if you dig the film. One sequence features more comedic interplay between Bachelor and Paul, and another sequence contains a pretty funny boxing moment with Kat Graham. More importantly, there is one slight plot hole (regarding Werkheiser and Graham’s characters) that wasn’t resolved in the original cut, and a split second comment fills that slight gap in one of the deleted scenes. The DVD also comes with a making of featurette which features behind the scenes interviews/moments with the cast members.
Rating: 3.5 out 5 stars
***Where’s The Money is part of the recently started “A Movie A Day” blog, where I will be watching one movie per day for the rest of my life. Check out the details on the following Find Your Seen Post and if you’re into movie review podcasts, feel free to subscribe to CinemAddicts. A sample of October’s show is below: