Create a bank break-in, sprinkle in a stash of stolen cash and throw in a black guy in an all-white fraternity and you’ve got the perfect list of ingredients for a laugh-out-loud comedy. The story is simple in “Where’s the Money,” which follows a broke South Central native (Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor) who discovers his jailbird dad (Mike Epps) and uncle (Terry Crews) have hidden a million bucks in the basement of a frat house. Anxious to retrieve the stolen bank loot, he enlists the help of his two friends Alicia (Kat Graham) and Juice (Allen Maldonado) and they come up with the inane idea to join the all-white college fraternity and grab the cash before his crazy, gun-wielding Uncle Leon or the local gangster Trap (Method Man) find it.
There are laughs aplenty in this film, and, as a bonus, viewers don’t have to worry about being constantly subjected to farts, urine, feces, semen, or any of the other foul substances that seem to overrun modern-day comedies. With a large ensemble cast who appear to be having a great deal of fun, the racial jokes and insinuations are funny. From Devon Werkheiser’s character, a white guy who refers to the pledges as slaves and calls himself Barack (but spells it Brock) to the frat members who all wear white hoods – much to Trap’s chagrin, this comedy about racial disparities succeeds in eliciting humor.
Also starring Logan Paul and Josh Brener, director Scott Zabielski ridicules both black and white culture with sharp wit and has several funny scenes where the frat members’ confusion of what constitutes a racist is a constant topic. No one has a monopoly on the funny moments, but Crews and Method Man do wring numerous laughs in their few scenes.
Breezily entertaining and culturally specific, “Where’s the Money” is undeniably silly, but it’s also frequently hilarious. No matter which side of the racial divide you’re on, this film works because nothing unites an audience quite like making fun of everyone. It isn’t aiming for social commentary so check your brain in at the door but be prepared to laugh your butt off
“Where’s the Money” is playing in select U.S. theaters and also available on DVD & iTunes
Samantha Ofole-Prince is an entertainment industry specialist and contributes to Trendy Africa Magazine from Los Angeles.