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Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.
Walrus-like warden, Sven "Swede" Sorenson, a cross between Bluto and Wimpy, runs the prison, murders convicts who escape, and has the FBI on his trail in the form of agent Karen Polarski, the daughter of the town's corrupt judge. Swede's twins tell their father they're pregnant (they aren't), so he pushes their dim boyfriends, Bud and Larry, into shotgun marriages. He also turns his sons-in-law into slave labor, so Bud hatches an escape plan: to rob a train carrying old bills to the mint for burning. Larry's his reluctant accomplice. When Bud is captured and railroaded into Swede's jail, his death looks certain, until he hatches yet another plan that requires Larry's help. Written by
If you can handle a world about half a bubble off plumb, there's a lot of fun to be had in "Free Money". It's quite obvious that all of these characters would vanish in a puff of smoke in what we call the "real world", but inside their own rules of logic and social constraints it all makes perfect and hilarious sense.
Brando's warden personifies what Joseph Heller once called "a gigantic belch of a man", and Hayden Church and Sheen are perfect as man's men dragged either unconscious or screaming into their twin high school bride's playhouse version of married life.
Donald Sutherland has a nice turn as a psychotic judge, and Mira Sorvino turns in a fine performance as a kind of bridge between "our world" and the asylum run by lunatics that the rest of the characters live in.
It's quite possible that we could have lived without some of the brutality (cattle prods, gladiator fights in the prison) but then again, what the hell. It's a 90's film.
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