Casino Jack is the dramatic interpretation of former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, played by Kevin Spacey. It follows his decisions with several other business partners and politicians that eventually led him to be convicted of three felony counts. Abramoff is working at a pizza parlor currently and was fully released on December 3 of this year.
Why you should see this movie
Spacey delivers a great performance and makes what could have been a very shallow, vilified role a human portrayal. The rest of the ensemble actors, including Saving Private Ryan’s Barry Pepper and comedian Jon Lovitz, do a great job of adding some complexities to their respective roles. While you know the ending of this story, you find yourself inevitably hoping for some path to redemption for Spacey’s interpretation of Abramoff as he does cling to his religious beliefs and family wholeheartedly.
What few flaws the film has are not too excessive or distracting, the score is distracting as it sounds like it was plucked from the transitional vocal cues of the Fox television show Glee to excess. At times the politics of the movie can get repetitive as it is no secret that Hollywood loves nothing more than to thrash the Bush era, even after he has been out of office for roughly two years.
Thankfully, the few flaws are vastly outweighed by the strengths of the film. Director George Hickenlooper, who just recently passed away, tries his best to objectively approach the film, showing that some of the individuals became guilty by association and few people made the right choices. Despite the fact that the director is the cousin of Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper, the film generally doesn’t seem to be trying to make an overly Democratic or Republican statement. Instead it seems to try to deliver a message about just how easy it is for lobbyists to do whatever they want as little as changed in the system even after Abramoff was sentenced.
The film moves at a fast pace and has some reminiscence of the well executed film Thank You for Smoking. Dialogue moves quickly and the characters are well portrayed by a great ensemble that also includes Kelly Preston as Abramoff’s wife in a short, but well played role.
Click here to order tickets in advance, Casino Jack will be playing exclusively in the Denver Metro area at the Chez Artiste from Landmark Theaters. If you want to receive instant e-mails on reviews of some of the films and more, subscribe above. As always, thanks for reading.
Casino Jack is Rated R for pervasive language, some violence and brief nudity. The film will be released in theaters on December 1, 2010.