Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Gambler

Rated R / 1 hr 51 min / Crime - Drama - Thriller

What is it about?

Mark Wahlberg plays Jim Bennett who is the gambler even though he wouldn't call himself a gambler if you ask him. He goes to a local gambling house, and quickly loses it. He then asks for more on credit. They grant him the amount requested that he doubles then quadruples up. He seems obsessed and keeps betting the full amount until he eventually loses. Now he's in debt to the Korean mob for over $200,000. He then borrows from a loan shark to pay back a portion of that debt and gamble some more. Both of his creditors give him seven days to pay them back. He has no money, and works as a professor at a university teaching English. His grandfather was one of the richest men in the world, but when his grandfather died he didn't inherit any of the money.

You will like it if...

You like brooding dramas where the protagonist is constantly trying to hurt themself. There are some interesting ideas that come through in this movie like the thought that if you're not trying to be great in sports or art then it's a waste of time. These ideas get lost throughout the movie in the long stretches of space that surround them. The movie could have easily been cut down to 90 minutes. Mark Wahlberg can scrunch his face up and play brooding with the best of them, but there is simply way too much of it in this film. You spend more time wondering what the main character is doing as he spirals down towards self destruction. The film turns into a study in depression and self loathing. The ending is disappointing and defies explanation as it flies in the face of everything that the movie had built up to. I would suggest waiting until the film is available on Redbox if you must see it.

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