Two for the Money (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/03/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 128 mins

Disappointing film that ultimately contains nothing but empty macho posturing, despite a couple of quality Shouty Al moments.

What’s it all about?
Matthew McConaughey stars as Brandon Lang, a washed-up football player turned sports tipster. His high rate of accuracy brings him to the attention of sports gambling kingpin Walter Abrams (Al Pacino), who whisks Brandon to New York and quickly makes him his golden boy, much to the annoyance of office rival Jerry (Jeremy Piven).

However, Walter’s high-flying lifestyle isn’t as secure as it first appears – his marriage (to Rene Russo) is on rocky ground and Walter himself is a recovering gambling addict. To make matters worse, Brandon’s lucky streak dries up just when Walter needs it most.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that there isn’t nearly enough plot here to sustain its lengthy running time. The initial set-up is interesting enough but the film rapidly loses its way in the middle and ends up a horribly confused mess, with sub-plots and entire characters simply disappearing into thin air. In addition, the climax is badly written and incredibly unsatisfying.

The Terrible
McConaughey is good at playing these charismatic golden boy types, but the script gives him very little to work with and the director frequently resorts to shots of his naked torso in the hope that large numbers of women will have gone to see this movie.

Unsurprisingly, Pacino is in full-on Shouty Al mode and, if you’re a fan of bad Pacino movies (The Recruit, The Devil’s Advocate, etc) then there are some enjoyably shouty moments here.

Worth seeing?
In short, if Bad Pacino Movies are your thing then you can probably go ahead and add an extra star, but otherwise, this is a badly written, poorly directed mess that even Shouty Al can’t save. Avoid.

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Content updated: 18/12/2017 20:36

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