CASINO JACK

If you go into CASINO JACK expecting a chronicle of events, you don't know Jack! (Sorry, couldn't resist). As with any decent drama about real events, this film focuses on the key player and uses events to help tell the story. That's precisely what the late George HIckenlooper does here. This is about a man driven to make money. Tons of money. Obscene amounts of money. And Jack Abramoff with do anything to realize that dream. He dresses it all in pretty feathers, charities, restaurants, schools. But this is about excess and greed. The greed of lobbyists and the greed of lawmakers. Kevin Spacey proves why he is a great actor, as his portrayal of Abramoff inspires humor, envy, loathing and finally pity. It's the full plate of emotions for the audience. But even given all that, the movie is lacking. Spacey is the shining star. And Jon Lovitz is wonderful as the slimy Adam Gidan (even by this crowd's standards, he's oily). But, Barry Pepper is just a little too wormy as MIchael Sullivan. And the rest of the cast is guilty of overacting (especially Kelly Preston). If it works at all, and a lot of it does, it's because of Spacey. The talented HIckenlooper deserved better for his final film. — Alan Yudman

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