A black and white conman and cop attempt to evade the LAPD in this buddy comedy-drama.
Buddy movies can come in all colours but, by classic definition, one buddy must be black and the other white. Black buddy must act as a comic sidekick to no-nonsense white buddy. White buddy, in turn, must learn to trust instincts of black buddy in order for them to "bond". When said movie is released, black buddy becomes "scene-stealer" (to wit, Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours), white buddy is tagged "admirable" (Nick Nolte in 48 Hours) and Hollywood goes buddy mental.
Money Talks has striven for this and, on paper at least, looks promising. Hotshot comedian Chris Tucker, (best known as the camp V.J. in The Fifth Element and the unfortunate Beaumont in Jackie Brown) is a smooth-talking ticket scalper with a mouth like a machine gun. Sheen dons the white buddy hat as a clean-cut TV reporter. Tucker is arrested, finds himself handcuffed to an international diamond smuggler (as you do), and goes AWOL when the smuggler is sprung from jail. Sheen goes cahoots with Tucker and together they evade the LAPD, track down the missing diamonds and cause international mayhem.
The ironic tag-line for Money Talks - "This ain't no buddy movie" - proves so ironic that it happens to be true. Sheen and Tucker have no chemistry, the set pieces mimic all those from 48 Hours and Trading Places to a tee, and somebody on the production has come to the conclusion that ear-shattering explosions are really funny.
MTV wonderboy Ratner seems to have conspired to direct the world's first 95-minute rap video from a comedy-thriller script that has neither laughs nor thrills, while Sheen uses his three preferred facial expressions (confused, bored and thirsty) to full effect. Only the brilliant young Tucker, a hyperactive bone-bag with the voice of a high-power kitchen blender, makes any real effort or lasting impact.