The Gambler Review Part 1
Monologs a go go!
dialogue – [dahy–uh-lawg, -log]
This is one of those special reviews for me where I, the cinema equivalent of a six year old prescribing sugar pills to her teddy bear while playing doctor, get to tell so called professional filmmakers who have dedicated their lives to perfecting their art how to make films. The funny thing is the director, Rupert Wyatt, actually directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes (a personal favorite).
You don’t have to be a genius to ken that I found issues with the Gambler. First off the entire movie serves as a vehicle for every single character to deliver long, pithy, analogy ridden, repetitive, boring monologs when telling their life story, discussing philosophy, or answering the question would you like fries with that? Each character in turn is either rambling on or playing the sounding board for the ramblings of someone else. The 111 run time could have been about 45 minutes if the writers had ever studied their Shakespeare (“Brevity is the Soul of Wit”).
The other Moviemaking 101 lesson that these guys seem to forgotten is the idea that at least one of the characters in a film needs to be remotely likeable by the audience. The main character played by Marky Mark I wanted to see die a horrible lingering death and he and his love interest had a lot of chemistry in that I wished they had both been dropped into a vat of acid. The closest thing to a likable character was Jonathon Goodman but since he was only on screen for about 20 minutes (and mostly naked for 18 of those 20 minutes. Weird. I just found out he played Mr. Prenderghast in ParaNorman. This poster I pulled from the zombie t-shirts) there is no way he could have saved this film.