DVD Review: EZ Money
Release Date: August 8, 2006
Distributor: MTI Home Video
· Dan T. Hall
· Terri Mann
· Moli Hall
· Jonas Gustavson
· Lil Kev
· Ric Payne
· Mike Jansen
· IMDb: EZ Money
by R.J. Carter
Published: August 26, 2006
I can't watch movies where the main plot revolves around a computer. I have a Masters degree in Computer Science. I can't suspend my disbelief whenever I see an actor give five audible taps on a keyboard and miraculously produce a paragraph of code. I giggle whenever a hacker cracks a password just by repeatedly typing in guesses and the system never locks up. I marvel at printers that have fans built into them to cause paper to blow out of them like a hurricane is contained inside. I couldn't enjoy "War Games" because I knew there was no way for the acoustic modem to hang up the phone to dial other numbers. "Lawnmower Man" was a farce because Pierce Brosnan's character wasn't smart enough to unplug a computer, preferring to use a hatchet to stop a virus instead.
So you can imagine my difficulty in swallowing something -- even a comedy -- where the technicals are so obviously hokey, where a CIA cryptologist is required to crack a four character alphabetic code! (It's not exactly very big number theory.)
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The film opens with young Molly Thompson (Moli Hall), brought to the principal's office once again for (of all things) loan sharking to her fellow students. While left alone, she intercepts the ubiquitous Nigerian Diplomat scam spam, and forwards it to her home email account. Yes, she's young enough to think it's real.
She's not the only one interested in this email, though. Sylis P. Murphy (Mike Jansen) is a computer genius with the CIA, and he's been working on tracking these emails to their source, and setting up a trap for the international mobsters who are behind the scam.
Now here comes the real computer magic. Sylis is setting up a shell bank website as part of the trap at the same time Molly and her younger brother Alex (Jonas Gustavson) is searching on Gargle (with all the right colors and fonts) for a place to open an account -- because the fleeing diplomat needs their account information so he can funnel his 30 million dollars out. While all this is going on, a power plant failure causes a power surge. A magical power surge that electrocutes Sylis, leaving him a babbling idiot with "temporary multiple personalities." It also causes the 30 million to really leave the bad guys' account! Aren't power surges unexplainably funny?
Since the only computer fried from this event is the biological one in Sylis's skull, the bad guys utilize their tracking software to find out what street and house was logged onto the Internet at the time of the surge, so they can get their money back. Enter Dukane Delante (Terri Mann) and her computer savvy assistant, Tutila (Lil Kev). With their Jamaican goons, they take little Echo Thompson and tell Molly and Alex that they want their 30 million back pronto, or they'll never see their little sister again.
Now, the police and CIA are still after Dukane and her crew. So the CIA pairs up the addled Sylis with tough-as-nails undercover street cop Jut Monroe (Ric Payne) -- who just happens to know Molly and Alex's mother. It's a small world.
Fortunately for all involved, the criminals are even dumber than the law enforcers in this farce that tries too hard to be stupid. The best acted bits are when Jansen goes into his schizophrenic off-the-wall stunts. The rest is safe enough to be background noise for kids to giggle at or go "ew!" over -- as long as they're not older than seven.
Bonus features on this set include the obligatory making-of featurette, weighing in at nearly nine minutes, and a four and a half minute Lil Kev music video.
Previews on this disc inlcude "Ghost Club", "Final Approach", "The Kids Who Saved Summer" and "587: Great Train Robbery".