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Review: John Travolta’s Fast and Furious-Style Heist Movie “Cash Out”
Underwhelming … John Travolta in Cash Out. Photograph: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy.

It’s a sad fact that when you sit down in front of a John Travolta movie nowadays, you know you’re not going to witness a career high point. That moment has been and gone. I refer not to his snake-hipped turn in Grease, or his era-defining strut in Saturday Night Fever, nor even to his funky comeback in Pulp Fiction; no, the greatest moment of Travoltean brilliance will always belong to his top-tier Oscar night flub, inexplicably introducing Idina Menzel as “the wickedly talented Adele Dazeem”. So, allowing for the fact that Cash Out can’t possibly top that, where does it sit in the pantheon? Unfortunately, this action thriller, also starring Kristin Davis, is nowhere near that vintage.

This is despite the fact that he plays a very promisingly named antihero called Mason Goddard, a professional thief known as the Ace of Spades. The first 15 minutes are perhaps the most interesting as we meet Mason and his accomplice Amelia Decker (Davis) sipping champagne on a private jet. This jet – and others like it – are being displayed as part of a booze-fuelled showcase of luxury vehicles for the ultrarich set, to which Mason and Decker are pretending to belong (this is the most fun Davis gets to have all film). There’s a glossy, Fast & Furious-style atmosphere to proceedings, and you wonder for a minute if you could be in for a similar sort of caper, which would be wonderful.

Alas, once the opening heist goes south, so does the movie. Most of the runtime is dedicated to a bank job gone wrong, which in practice means we spend an awful lot of time with people arguing in a bank, an experience available for free in most high-street branches. It’s not that the talky bits of a high-stakes robbery can’t ever be entertaining, but unfortunately in this case they just aren’t. Chalk it up to an insufficiently distinctive screenplay and underwhelming plot, but for Travolta, Cash Out feels more like a mercenary case of cashing in.

• Cash Out is on UK digital platforms from 8 July.

Source: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy.