Matthew McConhaughy plays a small town football star injured just before he would have gone pro. His gridiron career on the field is over, but behind the scenes he develops an uncanny knack for picking winners for gamblers. He is recruited by a New York odds-making firm and for a while everything he touches turns to gold. He can’t lose. We know this because he trades in his jeans and hooded sweatshirts for Armani suits and Gucci shoes.
Of course there wouldn’t be much of a movie unless he hit a rough patch—and while this isn’t much of a movie— McConhaughy’s character does hit a losing streak that teaches him something about himself. Mixed in is Rene Russo as a former junkie turned mother figure and Al Pacino as the young man’s crazy mentor.
I would have given this movie more stars, but Al Pacino ate them while he was chewing the scenery. His performance is so over the top that I was afraid that he was going to literally gnaw through the screen and chew on audience members. This is Pacino in full-on “Hoo-Haw” mode, the kind of performance that gets mimicked by comedians.
Pacino’s performance overwhelms almost everything in its path, including all the other actors and the story. The only thing that overshadows his insane performance are McConhaughy’s frequently displayed and finely toned ab muscles which seem to be acting in a different movie.