Newest Reviews
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
  One for the Money No Bail for the Bondswoman
Year: 2012
Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Stars: Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara, Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo, Sherri Shepherd, Debbie Reynolds, Debra Monk, Nate Mooney, Adam Paul, Fisher Stevens, Anna Reeder, Patrick Fischler, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Leonardo Nam, Annie Parisse
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Newly divorced, broke, jobless and desperate, Jersey girl Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) gets a job as a bail bondsman despite lacking any experience as a bounty hunter. Her first target proves to be Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), an old boyfriend who seduced then dumped her back in high school. Now Joe is a cop on the run accused of murder. Eager for some payback as well as that huge cash reward, Stephanie sets off on Joe’s trail but her efforts to apprehend him prove disastrous. At one point he even breaks into her apartment and leaves her handcuffed naked to the shower. Gradually, under the tutelage of seasoned bounty hunter Ranger (Daniel Sunjata), Stephanie learns the ropes. But while investigating the case, in the face of escalating danger, she comes to suspect Joe might be innocent.

Former romance novelist Janet Evanovich discovered she preferred writing action sequences to sex scenes and won a fan following with her series of light-hearted thrillers about female bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Few proved as warm towards this big screen adaptation starring one-woman chick flick factory Katherine Heigl. Heigl’s neurotic screen persona rubs some people up the wrong way, but viewed from a certain perspective her career is fascinating. She develops and produces her own projects mounting variations on a formula tailored to appeal to a largely female fanbase who respond to plucky, if occasionally hapless heroines struggling to juggle career, family and romance. At her worst Heigl is capable of trainwrecks as godawful as The Ugly Truth (2009) but now and again delivers something unexpectedly affecting, as was the case with Life As We Know It (2010) or more often innocuous and sweet as with 27 Dresses (2008). While their merits as art are debatable, chances are Heigl’s vehicles will provide future film historians with an intriguing snapshot of our era’s attitude towards women. Plus she does sport one of the most appealing smiles in the movie business.

It is easy to see why Heigl was drawn to this material given Evanovich crafts a familiar tale of a heroine trying to make it in a hitherto exclusively male world. Every man Stephanie Plum meets is either openly hostile or unable to take her seriously. Following the similarly gimmicky Killers (2010), One for the Money marks Heigl’s second shot at action-comedy though don’t expect much shoot-’em-up fun. Stephanie Plum is no kickass superwoman in the mould of, say, Elmore Leonard’s Karen Sisco. In fact the central conceit of Evanovich’s books is that Plum is barely competent at best. Throughout the story she repeatedly misjudges situations, is outwitted by Joe Morelli and other suspects, gets people killed or hurt and proves less than capable at all the action stuff. All of which is admittedly faithful to Evanovich’s work but which does not make it any less disheartening that our heroine needs a man to bail her out of a sticky situation.

While the arc of the narrative details Stephanie’s growing more confident, tough and competent - as signalled in classic chick flick fashion via a makeover, swapping sappy dresses for an admittedly compelling tight jeans and sleeveless top ensemble - the change does not really occur until the closing minutes. For the most part, it remains a world where men stay in control and Stephanie never quite shakes the psychological hold Joe has on her. The film seems uncertain about who the love interest is supposed to be, for while sparks fly between Stephanie and hunky bail bondsman Ranger (“What is he, an action figure?”) she seemingly remains infatuated with smug misogynist Joe Morelli. British filmmaker Julie Anne Robinson, who made the surreal musical thriller-drama Blackpool (2005) with David Tennant and The Last Song (2010) a dramatic vehicle for teen star Miley Cyrus, never puts pedal to the metal consequently exposing the shapelessness of the multi-authored screenplay. In keeping with the novels, the plot is equally fixated on Stephanie’s domestic squabbles with her family who include Debbie Reynolds as her wisecracking grandma. There are a few amusing scenes including one where Stephanie apprehends an elderly nudist, her encounter with a jolly meth lab owner (Leonardo Nam) and a running gag with characters flummoxed over how she looks so great on an all junk food diet, but the thriller aspect runs slack.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 2044 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: