TWO FOR THE MONEY
Don’t Bet On This One
Release Date: October 07, 2005
Starring: Al Pacino, Matthew
McConaughey, and Rene Russo
Rating: R (for pervasive language, a
scene of sexuality and a
Runtime: 122 Minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: D. J. Caruso
Executive Producer: Guy McElwaine
Producer: Jay Cohen, Wayne Morris, David
C. Robinson, and James G.
Writer: Jay Cohen
Address Comments To:Bob Wright, Chairman/CEO
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Stacey Snider, Chairman
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
After a career ending injury steals any hope that Brandon has of becoming a professional football player, he finds himself working for a small, Vegas 900 phoneline company and making the picks-of-the-week for college football gamblers. His knowledge of the teams and his correct-pick-percentages grab the attention of big-time sports bookie, Walter Abrams. Abrams offers Brandon a lucrative career as one of his bookies in New York City. Soon Brandon Lang, the small-town, southern boy with charm, modesty and virtue, is transformed into John Anthony, the big-city, wheelin-dealin’ talk-of-the-town cutthroat playboy who’s next big high comes from the next big game.
As Brandon’s alter-ego, John Anthony, continues his lucky picking streak, the payoffs get higher but so do the stakes. Pretty soon, millions of dollars of other people’s money are riding on each decision John Anthony makes. Then, in true Hollywood-formula fashion, the lucky streak runs out. With his world falling apart, personal threats coming in from big players and Walter pushing him to the brink, John Anthony must either find the edge he lost or lose it all.
TWO FOR THE MONEY is well-made, the performers give their all, and the director finds some nice moments to reveal how compulsive living can lead to self-destruction. Matthew McConaughey commits 110% to the Jekyll-Hyde-like transformation from Brandon Lang to John Anthony, and his southern charm and magnetic personality make him easy to watch. Al Pacino does his usual “chewing up the scenery” as Walter Abrams, a man driven to the edge by his compulsions. Even though Pacino is always Pacino, he makes some nice character choices that portray the depth of Walter’s addictions. Rene Russo does a wonderful job as Walter’s wife who does all she can to keep Walter from falling off the edge on which he is so precariously perched.
Even though the movie itself is a complete journey that shows the pitfalls, dangers and addictions of gambling, the audience must, regrettably, endure the journey. With strong addictive behavior (in all its grossness) depicted, the movie overwhelms viewers with its look at the “dark side.” Add to that the sexuality, fornication, nudity, prostitution, human defecation, and overly abundant foul language, the audience has a nice mixture of “the worst humankind has to offer.” However, the movie does give moviegoers a look all of the characters’ individual redemptions. With very few pros and a lot of cons, TWO FOR THE MONEY is definitely not one to bet on.
Well made and acted, TWO FOR THE MONEY is a complete journey that shows the pitfalls, dangers and addictions of gambling. Regrettably, the audience must endure the journey. With strong addictive behavior shown, the movie overwhelms you with its look at the “dark side.” Add to that the sexuality, fornication, nudity, prostitution, human defecation, and overly abundant foul language, the audience has a nice mixture of “the worst humankind has to offer.” With very few pros and a lot of cons, TWO FOR THE MONEY is definitely not one to bet on.