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Rounders

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 01/28/99 15:52:48

"I got three queens, a pair of aces and a stupid-ass Russian."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

I got the impression from most folks that this film sucked mighty turds. What gives? I thought it was great.

Well okay, maybe not great, but darn good. It was Will Hunting playing cards! What's not to like?

Seriously. I'm not joking here. Okay, so Damon's not your average Olivier. So what? Who is? He's no Mark-Paul Gosselaar at least.

Ed Norton is as cool-ass as ever, as Damon's lowbrow buddy "Worm", fresh outta jail and being a general pain in Damon's freshly legitimised ass. Damon, having given up being a card-shark so he can get into law-school, is dragged screaming back into the seedy underworld of crooked games and game crooks when Worm is in danger of having his face turned into worm-food over an increasing gambling debt.

All sounds fair enough. It runs well, dialogue is clean enough, the game itself is portrayed in an interesting fashion, there's lots of high points and suspense.

So what drags this film into the shit? Easy. John Malkovich. What the hell was this guy thinking? I've heard better Russian accents on Saturday Night Live. I've seen better temper tantrums on four year olds. I've seen better rounded characters in WB sitcoms.

Seriously, they should have dubbed someone else's voice over him. It was distractingly awful. It was hilarious. His every line was cracking people up.

Speaking of audiences, I don't know how truly low the IQ can get, but hearing people call out audibly "YES!" when a good card is turned for Damon... well that's just the piss-funniest thing I've experienced all year.

In closing, Rounders is, in my opinion, a fine movie. It's a good story, well done. And if that's not enough for you, watching John Malkovichski stumble over an accent is worth the price of admission.

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