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You wouldn't believe how many movies likes this I have seen already. Poker movies; it's like it's a genre of its own and each movie uses all of the same clichés and don't even bother to be original with anything.

No. I'm not a fan but I can't even imaging poker players being much impressed with- or into movies like this. Sure, it all revolves around a game of poker but in a way it at the same time also totally secondary to the story. This movie also could have been about a game of Monopoly and the story, including all of the clichés and characters, would all have been the same.

Having said that, this is not the worst genre example that I have ever seen. At least it's not as far fetched or convoluted as some of the other genre movies that I have seen but it still features a pretty stupid and formulaic story about a poker player who looses some serious money and then comes up with a stupid (with the emphasis on stupid) to get his money back. Sounds familiar? Well, like I said, all of these movies are the same and this story also definitely features no real surprises in it.

The movie isn't ever doing a very good job handling its characters and not even the main character, played by Stéfano Gallo, ever turns into a likable enough character. Lets face it, this is a movie about a bunch of criminals and addicts who treat a game of poker like it's the most important thing in the world. How are we ever supposed to care about any of these character? It's also funny how Paul Sorvino always keeps popping up in these kind of movies, always playing the same sort of characters. It used to be a good thing whenever Paul Sorvino showed up in a movie, nowadays it often means that the movie most likely is going to be a disappointing one to watch.

It's true that the movie tries to create some more depth at times, with both its story and characters but these actually are the moments that the movie becomes the least interesting to watch. Every little subplot that's in it is terrible and really doesn't add anything to the story. It's too much of a distraction instead and it makes the movie needlessly dramatic, when it should have focused some more on the thriller aspects instead.

As a a thriller it falls incredibly short. There is never an exciting or truly tense moment to be found in the movie and like I said, all of the 'suprises' never really come as much of a surprise at all, especially when you have seen one or two movies such as this already.

Playing a game of poker, online or offline, is more tens, exciting and entertaining than watching this thriller.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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