Even Money Movie Review
This is a movie about a few more of 'em: A father (Forest Whitaker), saddled with debt, begs his college basketball star brother to lose games to pay off his bookies. And perhaps more overdone: A blocked writer (Kim Basinger) hooks up with a failed magician (Danny DeVito) to learn how to play cards and lose her and her husband's (Ray Liotta) savings. Kelsey Grammar's crippled vice detective and Tim Roth's gangster add to the mix, reminding you just how much acting talent director Mark Rydell managed to accumulate for the movie, only to squander it on a messy script that ties these story fragments together haphazardly.
DeVito as a failed Catskills magician I'll buy, but Basinger as a novelist who gets lured into the casinos full time? There I'm not so sure. But the rest of the cast just doesn't have enough to do. How many times can Whitaker emote his conflict over his kid brother? How many threats can Roth toss out? Rydell doesn't really have time to explore each character in depth, but he wastes what time he does have by repeating himself.
Those obsessed with the dark side of Vegas, away from the neon and the celebrity nightclubs, might find a glimmer of insight and entertainment here, but most watchers will likely be too depressed to muster much sympathy for Even Money's downtrodden losers.
Always double down on 11. Always.