Movies based on a true story can be a difficult genre. Why? Because real life isn’t what you see in the movies, that is why several movies tend to go the “loosely-based on true events” route. That way, they can add elements in that might make the story seem more Hollywood-esque. “For the Love of Money” came close at different times to being slightly entertaining, but fell short significantly.
“For the Love of Money” stars Yuda Levi as Isaac, the main protagonist in this film, as well as narrator. He leaves his life in Isreal to the land of opportunity, Los Angeles, where he opens a few restaurants before finally resting with a job in auto repairs. It is there where he is confronted by a ruthless gangster (James Caan) that puts his life in jeopardy. It is up to him to get out of that life and live the American dream.
In the most basic of descriptions, that lays it down pretty well, however there is so much more to this film than that. The first half hour of the film goes into detail of his life in Israel growing up, introducing us to characters like Tommy (Edward Furlong), which ends up being a useless character that while based on fact, served no entertainment basis. In Israel there are gangsters, in Los Angeles there are gangsters, and Isaac continues to get tangled up in that mess.
The film will have you scrambling your brain on how in the world you can keep up with all the characters’ lives when in reality you may have a hard time doing. It struggles for what seems like a lifetime on getting to the point, and even then you don’t know what the point of the film was. There are times in the film where you actually might want to know what happens, and then it falls short when their explanation is just, “oh hey, this character who you thought would be important was just killed.” It frustrates the viewer to no end.
There was never really a lack in the acting, it was done pretty well, but the story was so mediocre and boring that no one will want to keep watching, even if only to see how it ends. The viewer might end up saying that it doesn’t even matter how it ends, because they keep killing off potential antagonists and introducing new ones, so there is no main “baddy” to keep the film moving along.
If you are a fan of true story films, mark my words, there are better films out there that are also based on true stories. Films that can hold your attention, have a protagonist and antagonist and is written brilliantly. This film has so much going wrong for it within the first half that you’re more likely to curse it than to finish it.
“For the Love of Money” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD Sept. 4.