The couple who accidentally stumble across this fortune are Americans Tom (James Franco) and Anna Wright (Kate Hudson), finding it secretly stashed away in the apartment downstairs – after the tenant died of a drug overdose. After deliberating as to whether they should inform the Detective Inspector John Halden (Tom Wilkinson) of their findings, instead, having only recently been issued with an eviction notice, the pair decide to keep it – though that instantly makes them a target for the nefarious criminal Jack Witkowski (Sam Spruell) – who is adamant the cash belongs to him.
Genz does a fine job in portraying his protagonist’s at the victims, ensuring the audience are on their side, and rooting for their cause. Ultimately, they are breaking the law – but we find empathy for their situation, and they seem like genuinely good people (it’s all in the title) and thus forgive them for their actions. However as we progress towards the latter stages they begin to act irrationally, and suddenly that bond we had formed begins to wither away – as the married couple grow overly courageous and suddenly take on the form of action movie stars, deviating away from that sense of regularity, two people we could initially identify with, and relate to – which was the entire point.
Part of the problem is the lack of depth to either character, which can also be said of the film’s leading antagonist, Witkowski – who is all too familiar, as your standard evil villain who likes killing people and making money. There’s nothing human about him, he’s like a robot born out of the fabric of the generic Hollywood action thriller. It’s a shame not to utilise the full potential of Spruell too, who has become something of a safe bet for villainous roles in cinema, and he has a sense of vulnerability about his demeanour, if only he was allowed to portray it.
Talking of not utilising talent, there’s nowhere near enough screen time for the absorbing Omar Sy – who plays a slightly more layered, nuanced antagonist, as the French crime lord Khan. But even he is not enough to save this feature from tedium, as for all of the positives in the opening act, which set this story up remarkably well – the latter half is hackneyed, seen-it-all-before fodder which does little to inspire.