Give Jimmy Traynor an “A” for chutzpah…few people, even in the shameless world of independent filmmaking, would dare to present a film as hopelessly silly as “Money Bound” with the sincere notion that it is worthy of respect. And while there are clearly worse ways to spend one’s viewing hours, the little charm that “Money Bound” has in its favor quickly evaporates as the film greedily bites off far more than it should ever have considered chewing.
“Money Bound” finds young Mr. Traynor as Blake, a bank robber who hides his ill-gotten gains in the woods before being apprehended by the long arm of the law. Actually, he meets the long foot of the law since “Money Bound” was made on such a low budget that no one is seen wearing a police uniform. Instead, the run from the law is achieved with a shaky POV camera jogging around, a soundtrack full of screaming voices, an occasional close-up of a puppy barking into the lens (supposedly the K-9 patrol, though maybe the pup wandered in from another movie by mistake), shots of a genuine police helicopter buzzing about (hey coppers, smile!) and, at chase’s end, a work boot and a blue jeans leg stepping on Traynor’s head as he lays on the ground.
The on-the-cheap air is found throughout “Money Bound.” Prison looks suspiciously like a warehouse from the outside (complete with loading docks) and every space inside the slammer (the cells, the hospital ward, the cafeteria, the hallway) looks like the same space was used over and over and over again. Prison uniforms feature white t-shirts with numbers clearly created with blatant wobbly penmanship.
For those who get turned on by prison flicks, look elsewhere. The film tries to indulge in “Oz” violence, complete with the required bad language and brutal beatings. However, the various punches and slashes from the fight sequences result in oceanic coughs of strawberry syrup pretending to be blood. If this isn’t bad enough, Traynor gets so many beatings and recovers so rapidly each time that it seem his character studied the key to good health with Wile E. Coyote.
There is the eventual jail break, the wild chase through the woods, various close calls with re-arrest, the barking puppy again, simulated hoochy-koo with a few cute girls, and…oh, who gives a s**t? The screenplay for “Money Bound” feels like it was cribbed from 15 different and better films. Couple that with an inaudible sound recording, ill-conceived videography, hack-chop editing and mumble-bumble acting, “Money Bound” becomes such a mess that after a while finding fault is just not fun.
To his credit, however, filmmaker-star Traynor has stared in the mirror recently and recognized he looks good on camera. For much of the film, he is either wearing sleeveless muscle shirts or he is shirtless or he offers simulated nudity (the latter situation finding him locked in a solitary confinement cell with a muddy floor). His fans (present and, perhaps, future) may enjoy the body beautiful Traynor on display, and there is always the possibility he can use his good looks to leverage real acting jobs in real movies down the road.