The Gambler

by | Jan 20, 2015 | 0 comments

A Reboot of An Unknown Film Will Remain Unknown

Frankly this was a waste of time. I haven’t seen the original, but this film discourages me from doing so. With a notable cast and an interesting story this film could have been much more enjoyable, but it ended up being dragging and boring. In fact, the subject and the message of the film ended up being the only saviors of this picture.

The Gambler tells the story of a University English professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) who teaches passionately at day and gambles mercilessly at night. As Jim gets heavily in debt with casino owners and gangsters he searches for help, he finds some in his mother (Jessica Lange), but he ends up using up her money at a casino… again. Not even his relationship with one of his students Amy Phillips (Brie Larson) is enough to pull him from his addiction.

While Jim’s decisions end up being stupid and ragingly repetitive, they show us the horrible enslavement that addiction brings, be it in gambling or drugs. However, the message is almost drilled into your head as it repeats it every two minutes so that the 1 hour and 51 minutes feel more like 3 hours.

Then the acting is a little off. While Jessica Lange and John Goodman (who plays a gangster boss) are stellar, it is the lead roles of Brie Larson and Mark Wahlberg that debacle the film. I’ve been saying this for a while: Mark Wahlberg is not a lead actor; he shines much more in the supporting role (just look at The Departed or The Other Guys). Wahlberg can handle a lead role (look at The Fighter or even Boogie Nights), but when one as complicated as this one comes along, he is embarrassed publicly. Wahlberg did very well in scenes where he’s lecturing in class, but when he has to interact with others his light dims.

The ending is predictable and the last scene couldn’t be cheesier. I’m sorry Lange and Goodman, you tried. 

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 56% 56%

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What is your favorite gambling film? Let me know in the comments section.

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