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Genre  Action, Crime, Thriller
Language  English
4.6/10 IMDb

Director  John Mallory Asher
Country  United States
Kounterfeit movie poster
Writer  David Chase, Katherine Fugate
Release date  1995 (1995)
Genres  Thriller, Drama, Crime Fiction, Gangster Film, Crime Thriller
Cast  Gil Bernardy (Counterfeiter), Corbin Bernsen (Marty Hopkins), Bobbie Brown (Dancer), Hilary Swank (Colleen), Andrew Hawkes (Tommy 'Hopscotch' Hopkins), Bruce Payne (Frankie)
Similar movies  Salt, Looper, Blackhat, Mission: Impossible II, Sexy Beast, Wild at Heart
Tagline  Money can buy anything... even murder.

Kounterfeit is a 1996 American crime/thriller film starring Bruce Payne and Hilary Swank. Kounterfeit was directed by John Mallory Asher and written by David Chase, Katherine Fugate and Jay Irwin.


Plot summary

A counterfeiter of money is attacked by two masked men and threatened to inform them where a certain amount of counterfeited money is. The counterfeiter pleads ignorance and is subsequently killed. Tommy 'Hopscotch' Hopkins, who has the money, learns of the death of the counterfeiter and begins to fear for his own safety. Consequently, he asks his friend, the street smart Frankie (who owns a strip club), to assist him in an exchange of the fake money for real money which he has organised with some acquaintances. Frankie reluctantly agrees to assist his friend.

The two attend the venue of the exchange, which is the house of an undercover police officer, Danny who uses the alias Paco. Danny believes that he is being assisted by two FBI agents in order to arrest Frankie and Hopscotch. Instead the other two men shoot and kill Danny and attempt to kill Frankie and Hopscotch. Frankie manages to shoot the two men after they kill Danny and he and Hopscotch flee the house with the real and the fake money which is contained in three suitcases. Frankie also pulls some paper out of the jacket of one of the two purported FBI agents. The shootout is witnessed by Danny's sister Colleen, who was hiding in the house. Distraught, she mistakenly believes that Frankie killed her brother and provides the police with his description. After fleeing the scene, Frankie escorts Hopscotch to the house of the latter's brother, Marty. Frankie advises Hopscotch to lie low while he conjures up a plan of what to do with the money. Marty seems concerned that his brother is associating with someone like Frankie.

Colleen is comforted by the colleagues of her dead brother Danny, including his boss Captain Evans. He advises her that they will do whatever is necessary to find Danny's killers. The investigation into Danny's death is led by Vic, who is Colleen's former lover. It transpires that Vic had ended his relationship with Colleen acrimoniously years previously. Despite their troubled past, he spends time with Colleen to help her combat her grief. However, struggling to restrain her emotions, Colleen becomes frustrated with the investigation into her brother's death as she begins to believe that little progress is being made. As she persistently approaches Captain Evans, in a vexed mood, he advises her that they believe Danny was a 'dirty' cop, something which, based on her knowledge of her brother's character, she strenuously refutes. As a result, she loses faith with her brother's former colleagues and decides to conduct her own investigations. She manages to track down Frankie and asks to be allowed to perform at his strip club. He admits that she is pretty enough to do the job, but states that she ought to think it over before making any commitment.

Meanwhile, after Frankie is attacked by the two masked men who killed the counterfeiter, he and Hopscotch decide to bury the three suitcases of money in the desert to ensure that they are safe. After burying the money Hopscotch is killed and Frankie is forced to engage in a shootout with the killer. The killer is revealed to be one of the two masked men and Hopscotch's brother, Marty. Frankie persuades Marty to inform him of the identity of the other masked man who he soon learns is Vic. In a show of disloyalty, Vic kills Marty and requests that Frankie tell him of the whereabouts of the money. Frankie declines to do so and returns to his strip club, where in a private performance he watches Colleen audition for a job. Afterwards, Frankie takes Colleen to his apartment where they begin kissing. Suddenly, Colleen pulls out a gun and confronts Frankie about the death of her brother. Frankie is initially confused but then elucidates upon the events of the shoot out. He advises her that Danny appeared to trust the other two men who were in the room at his house when he was killed and that they turned on him. To convince Colleen that he is telling the truth he manipulates the gun so that Colleen only needs to pull the trigger in order to kill him.

Colleen believes Frankie and he escorts her to her car so that she can travel home. Vic sees Frankie and Colleen together and when Colleen is gone he advises Frankie to stay away from her. The next day Frankie visits Colleen and produces the piece of paper that he took from the purported FBI agent. The piece of paper is part of a map with directions on it in red ink. Frankie advises Colleen that he believes that Vic was involved in her brother's killing. He tells her to tell Vic's superiors in the police and take them to the desert. While Colleen travels to the police station, Frankie advises Vic that he has changed his mind and that he will share the money with him. Frankie and Vic drive to the desert where they dig up the cases with the money in. Meanwhile Colleen and Captain Evans arrive at the desert. Evans advises Colleen to wait in the car as he investigates. As he leaves in pursuit of Vic and Frankie, she finds the other half of the map on the dashboard of the car. Evans walks up a hill and sees Frankie and Vic with the cases of money. Vic manages to hit Frankie with a spade in an attempt to take all of the money for himself after which Evans confronts him. At this point Colleen arrives and Evans shoots Vic in an attempt to conceal his guilt in the affair. He then hugs Colleen and tells her that it is all over. Colleen, now aware that both Vic and Evans were responsible for her brother's death then shoots Evans. Afterwards she and Frankie arrange Vic's and Evans' bodies to make it seem as though they had killed each other in a dispute over one of the cases of money. They then walk off with the other two cases of money and with their arms around each other.

Main cast

  • Bruce Payne as Frankie
  • Hilary Swank as Colleen
  • Corbin Bernsen as Marty Hopkins
  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Paco/Danny
  • Gil Bernardy as Counterfeiter
  • Andrew Hawkes as Tommy 'Hopscotch' Hopkins
  • Michael Gross as Captain Evans
  • Rob Stewart as Vic
  • Elizabeth Gracen as Bridgette
  • Ben Foster as Travis
  • Doug McKeon as Patron
  • Jay Irwin as Contact 1
  • Brad James as Contact 2
  • Bruce Payne and Elizabeth Gracen both played Immortals in the popular Highlander franchise.


    The TV Guide website has given the film a rating of 2.5 out of 4. A reviewer for the TV Guide stated that 'Frankie's slablike features and seedy-cool demeanor initially makes him just one outsized thug among many, but Payne gradually warms up the protagonist and balances nicely against Hawkes's scenery-chewing Joe Pesci act'.


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