Top Coat Cash | Cinematic threat
jurassic park emphasized, through Jeff Goldblum, that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to do it. The democratization of independent film through digital photography, laptop editing, and crowdfunding has brought this lesson of things in vivid color to life more than once.
Top Coat Cash is a vivid example of a movie that doesn’t have to exist. There are plenty of future filmmakers suffering from Tarantino delusions, countless contenders for the throne rejecting bad imitations.
The plot, as it stands, features an MMA fighter, Johnny, who bets on himself in Vegas with a loan shark, then loses. He comes home with millions of dollars in debt and in danger from the gangsters he owes. He soon meets people from his past, including a team that offers to include him in increasingly violent bank robberies.
This movie was obviously on a budget, but it doesn’t say anything new about gambling, dangerous risks, parenting, relationships, or against all odds in achieving greatness, although it seems to think it touched it all. . What this tells us is that it pays to have someone who has enough experience in the field to prevent the release of films that add no value.
“…Johnny, who bets on himself in Vegas with money from a loan shark, then loses …“
Top Coat Cash is filled with terrible vanities in the name of “changing it” to contradict expectations. Director (and lead actor) David Tittone indulges in grotesque and unnecessary violence just for the lustful joy of seeing people get hurt. The acting is stiff and amateurish, the dialogue is laughable, the violent action is the only place the movie feels comfortable.
Violence can be necessary for a story and inform the narrative. Novelist Cormac McCarthy writes about “sacred violence” crucial to the texture of specific times and places, and there is certainly a case for horrific violence when it helps us understand and process. Without death, life is of less value. However, there is nothing sacred here, no conclusions are drawn, no character grows or changes, nothing happens in the course of the narrative to make it worth enduring these moments with the characters or worry about their situation. Worse yet, the film distorts insane sadism into even more on-screen misogyny: in this case, a tailless a ***** drags a woman across the floor by her hair. Enough.
This has all been done before, better and with a point. Difficult pass.
Top Coat Cash (2018) Directed by David Tittone. Written by David Tittone, David Torre. With David Tittone, Jason Turner, Rich Zvosec.
3 out of 10