Review Date:
Director: Mike Hodges
Writer: Paul Mayersberg
Producers: Jonathan Cavendish, Christine Ruppert, Brigid Olen…
Clive Owen
Gina McKee
Alex Kingston
I guess my expectations were a little too high for this movie, because ultimately, I was disappointed with the overall picture. I’d been hearing “classic” words being tossed around for this flick, and I’m quite the fan of casino/gambling movies, so all seemed in place to enjoy…but alas, t’was not to be.

The main thing that I didn’t like about this movie was the disattachment that I felt towards its lead character, Jack. Sure, Clive Owen does a great job of portraying this cold, distant fella with very few feelings ever being shown on his face, but I just couldn’t get into this guy. Of course, I understand that the basic point of the movie was that this character was starting to lead a “double-life” of sorts, but as the plot progressed, I just didn’t care much for the dude or what happened to him.

Furthermore, the coldness in his character was transmitted through to the entire picture, as one person screwed over the other, and girlfriends didn’t seem to care about their boyfriends cheating (huh?), it seemed like everyone was living in this completely unemotional environment.

Granted, the picture looked great, the actors were all solid, the casino razmataz and the back-door stuff was cool to see, and I liked the way that the main character incorporated his own life to influence the writing of his own novel, but the loose nature of the story, the constant voice-overs and the “twist” ending, which added very little to the actual plot, all kept me at arm’s length.

It seemed to be the kind of movie that I’d have to watch a few times before I could really get into it. Very little mustard on top, but seemingly a lot of meat on the inside. Probably more esoteric than I was looking for and definitely more in need of a drink, than anything else.

Rent it if you’re looking for an original character study of a novelist who works inside a casino, studying and looking down upon his clients, until he himself, turns into something similar over time. David Mamet doesn’t need to quit his day job just yet, but it’s in that same vein, although not as clever or tight.

PS: For those who have seen the movie, I didn’t even understand everything detail of the story, including the “death” of a main character about 2/3 into the film (who did it? why?) and the whole robbery scene (what happened there?). Anywho…

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian