Where The Money Is review

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And finally Hollywood gets to "S" for stroke in its well-thumbed dictionary of dramatic medical ailments. Robert De Niro's take on the affliction rolls along in Flawless later this year, but first we get to watch Paul Newman's wheelchair-bound efforts. Don't expect some sort of gritty hospital drama, though: once the set-up's over, Where The Money Is swiftly leaves medical mimicry behind and ambles off into crime caper land...

You see, Newman's character is faking the whole stroke paralysis thing (that's not a major plot giveaway - the sight of Newman beaming down from the posters takes care of that). When Linda Fiorentino finally makes him slip up, instead of sending him swiftly back to chokey, she begins drawing up plans for an ambitious robbery that'll free her of her dull job and give her marriage a much needed shot in the arm.

Where The Money Is isn't the fastest moving of pictures. Once Newman's walking around, it takes an age for them to get around to actually committing their crime. But this isn't entirely a bad thing. Why? Well, it allows you to spend some quality time in the company of Mr Newman.

And that's the secret to the film's success. Marek Kanievska's direction isn't anything to write home about, Dermot Mulroney is a plank of an actor and Fiorentino is just cranking out a watered-down nice girl version of her character from The Last Seduction.

But Newman is a walking, talking lump of star power. Pitching his performance between The Color Of Money and The Sting, he makes everyone else look like a cardboard cut-out. He may be pushing 80, but the old fella is a believable sexual threat to Mulroney's marriage and an agile light comedian to boot. With lead roles like this left in him, why has he wasted time propping up Kevin Costner in Message In A Bottle?

An unambitious little caper made into something special by Paul Newman's sheer star wattage. The rest is fairly mundane- the script just okay, the other players, at best, competent- but when Newman's on screen, you couldn't really care less.

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