Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Two For the Money

Two For the Money (D.J. Caruso, 2005) [4]
For the last couple of years, Al Pacino has become known more for his overblown performances than the serious acting chops he showed in the 1970s. He’s pretty much played into the parody of Al Pacino that can be seen on sketch shows, and this film does nothing to discredit it. Pacino hams his way through every scene, that his manic performance towers above all else in the film. That’s good because it gives this scattershot film something to cling to. On one hand, it’s about the business of sports gambling and the effects that has on people, but it also wants to be about family and the bonds created through men in the Walter (Pacino) and John Anthony (McConaughey) characters. If the film had focused more on the business of gambling and exactly how Walter’s business is run, it would have been a much more interesting film. The film’s best moments come out of here, whether it’s Jeremy Piven’s performance as a jealous son figure or the near satire that comes when Walter and his handicappers are taping their show. This is the one time that Pacino’s overacting plays perfectly into the character of the film. But all the other characters fall flat in comparison to him throughout the rest of the film, which makes this less than effective.

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