Cash Out Image

Cash Out

By Ryan Devir | April 29, 2024

Written by Dipo Oseni and Doug Richardson and directed by Ives, Cash Out stars John Travolta as international thief Mason. Mason’s got one last score before retiring with his partner and lover, Amelia (Kristin Davis). Like all “last scores,” things don’t go according to plan, and Amelia is revealed as an undercover FBI agent. However, Mason and his team have a backup plan and narrowly escape the FBI ambush.

Cut to three months later. Mason’s brother, Shawn (Lukas Haas), tries to get him out of hiding and out of retirement for another go at the whole “last score” angle. After Mason declines, Shawn attempts to lead the bank robbery on his own. Trying to protect his brother and old teammates from making a horrible mistake, Mason attempts to stop the heist from happening. However, he is instead sucked into a trap set by the FBI and other nefarious players. Now, Mason must use his expertise to orchestrate another miraculous escape, all while dealing with the FBI’s lead negotiator, Amelia.

Cash Out has a fun premise — a bank robber in a game of wits against an ex-lover. Unfortunately, the screenwriters don’t do much with the idea. The editing is chaotic and often makes it difficult to know what is happening on screen. The action sequences are full of jump cuts, shaky cam, and swooping aerial drone shots that are overused, last too long, and end up focusing away from the main characters. Such flourishes just don’t add to the action.

“…a bank robber in a game of wits against an ex-lover.”

Mason has a whole team, and you would think there would be quirks given to each member so we can get to know them, what they are good at, and why this motley group works together, but no. They’re all just “the best” at what they do and mostly stand around, except for their computer hacker wiz, Link (Natali Yura), who has the most screen time of the bunch. But even then, she doesn’t do much beyond button smash.

Unfortunately, it’s not only the sidekicks, as there is not a single three-dimensional character here. Travolta’s Mason is just “the best.” His relationship with Shawn has no emotional depth. Shawn is constantly saying they are brothers and that they’re all they have since their dad passed, but that’s it. Their emotional arc is simply, “Hey, I’m sorry I got us into this… do you remember I’m your brother, though?”

The failings of Cash Out extend to Mason and Amelia’s relationship. Oseni and Richardson never establish it as deep as it needs to be for the premise to work. We meet them in the opening during the “last heist,” and she turns on him at gunpoint. At this point, she shows no sorrow that their 2-year relationship is coming to an end thanks to her betrayal. She’s all about the law and getting the job done. For the rest of the movie, however, she’s a ditzy, lovestruck FBI negotiator who flirts with Mason over the phone and occasionally takes breaks to stand her ground against the other male law enforcement officers who are justifiably confused by her superiority.

Cash Out contains flashes that give a wistful look into what this could have been. But the truth is that the title tells you everything you need to know: this action-thriller is nothing more than a paycheck for Travolta, Davis, and everyone else involved.

Cash Out (2024)

Directed: Ives

Written: Dipo Oseni, Doug Richardson

Starring: John Travolta, Kristin Davis, Lukas Haas, Natali Yura, Quavo, etc.

Movie score: 4/10

Cash Out Image

"…has a fun premise..."

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