Friday, October 02, 2015

Mississippi Grind - Movie Review

Who's In It?


What's It About?

Gerry is addicted to gambling and heavily in debt, until he meets his "lucky charm" Curtis, an enigma wrapped in a riddle, who always seems to win. When Curtis mentions a super poker pot up for grabs down south, they decide to drive to Mississippi from Ohio, gambling in any game and at every opportunity they get.

Any Good?

There is a lot in this film in terms of characters and things going on. So much of it though, is out of context and never explained so it just comes up empty in some of the seemingly important moments. This sense of aimlessness is compounded when things just seem to happen because nothing has happened for a while; it's like they made the movie 70% filler.

The gambling scenes in the film are off for some reason, they're so far-fetched at times that it just kills all tense atmosphere. It starts in the first 10 minutes when playing poker Gerry starts asking the table about the weather; now I'm not sure, but I've never seen that happen in any poker game - professional or just casually in a bar. Had this tactic been revealed as a ploy of his to throw opposing players off we'd get it but it never is. Nothing ever is.

The strong point of the film is definitely the characters (all three of them) - Ben Mendelsohn is a total addict type, even down to the finding money wherever he can when he loses. Ryan Reynolds is ripped in this, and he needed it because he carried most of the film on his back with a fantastic performance as drifter Curtis who's extremely charismatic gambling prodigy.

The only other person of worth mentioning is Sienna Miller, she's only in it for 20 minutes max until she's relegated to mere mentions by Gerry and Curtis.The background characters are weird and have weird stories to them, they just seem to be McGuffins.

I didn't really like Mississippi Grind, and I was genuinely interested in the premise after playing Fallout: New Vegas. It's basically Requiem For A Dream for gambling addiction instead of heroin - but without any real semblance of an ending. Reminiscent of Mark Wahlberg's The Gambler, it just made me feel bad for the rest of the day.


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