The Gambler

Posted on January 4, 2015


The Gambler – I’m not sure whether to call Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) a gambling fool or a fool who gambles. An associate professor of English Literature by day, at night he inhabits underground gambling casinos. He wins and wins until he loses. He’s in major debt to a couple of loan sharks and when his mom (Jessica Lange) bails him out “for the last time”, he does it again. Beatings and water boarding don’t stop him. He gets involved with two students: one a basketball player who wants to turn pro; the other (Brie Larson) who wants to turn him around.

There’s a fun scene when Bennett tries to sell his Omega watch to a jeweler (Richard Schiff). Another one or two with Frank (John Goodman). George Kennedy has a small spot as Bennett’s dying grandfather. It’s kind of artsy and there’s a great soundtrack. I’m not sure I understood the reason for his addiction, but I don’t think he did either.

Wahlberg looks really good here and his hair, well, it is just finger-running-through perfect. Goodman’s ass is huge.