‘One For the Money’ is not worth the money

PHOTO: Fair use of movie photo courtesy of One For the Money Official Website.

With only $4 left in her checking and about 10 minutes left with her car, Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) turns to becoming a bail enforcement agent for some quick money even though she has no training. As part of her job, she has to track down a former cop, Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), that she had a one night stand with and then ran over with her car.  Interesting, right? Well, not really.

The one hour and 46 minutes I spent on this rated PG13 movie at Blue Oaks Century Theater was a waste. I had to entertain myself by eating popcorn. It was just a double dose of some lousy cop drama-comedy. Sorta like the hit detective comedy “Psych,” yet not much of a hit and not that funny. I felt like I could have better spent my time watching “Beauty and the Beast” in 3-D.

Storyline: Was it Interesting?: C

Like I said before “One for the Money” sounds interesting in the trailer, but quickly loses momentum.

In the movie, Plum becomes entangled in a murder mystery while trying to track down Morelli and taking bounty hunter lessons from the mysterious Ranger (Daniel Sunjata). Her witnesses are killed or hurt one by one after she visits and revisits them. Eventually, she learns that Morelli is innocent, no duh, and there is a missing witness, the flat-nosed man. By the end of the movie though, everyone, and I mean every single person tied to the murder, is either killed or hurt, except for Plum, but someone did try to blow her up.

The main issue with this plot is that it is predictable, which means BORING. First, there is a murder. Second, there is an unexpected, yet expected, twist. Third, the mystery is solved and the assailants go to jail. “Law and Order” anyone? I have seen this same plot over and over in numerous cop-dramas, the only difference is this “episode” is twice as long. The movie just drags on and on.

Another problem is that the “important” missing witness is introduced more than half-way through the movie. He never has time to develop as a character and his is quickly killed off towards the end. So much for being important to solving the mystery.

Comedy: Was it Funny?: NM

Overall, there were three instances in the movie that were funny — not hilarious, but funny. Some of the jokes were very vague and vulgar that younger audiences would never understand. At other times, the jokes were completely flat.

The boring comedy caused the movie to seem more dramatic than it should be. There was just not enough humor to relieve the tense situations in the movie. However, there was not enough drama, since the movie is supposed to be a comedy, to sway the movie in the dramatic direction. This caused the movie to have an awkward combination of comedy and drama.

Acting: Was it Entertaining?: C+

I thought Katherine Heigl could never go astray, but in “One for the Money” she did and it saddened my heart. Throughout the movie Heigl is supposed to play a sad girl who just lost her job and is about to be evicted, yet Heigl does not play this role very well. She makes Plum seem confident and assured about herself and her current disposition. Furthermore, Plum is supposed to have a southern accent, but at times, it varies. I did not even realize she had an accent until 15 minutes into the film.

Overall, I would rate this movie as a NM (a.k.a. epically failing)  due to the boring plot, the boring comedy, and the boring acting.

By MICHAEL NAKADA