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The Gambler movie review

If you’re after a gritty movie about one man’s gambling struggles and his attempts to get to grips with his life, then The Gambler is well worth a watch. Released in 2014 it stars Mark Wahlberg as the lead character with support from John Goodman, Brie Larson, Michael K. Williams and Jessica Lange.The Gambler shows the casino world on a level a casual gaming fan can just about understand but also takes the viewer on a journey of deceit and destruction way beyond anything he or she will experience. It is directed by Rupert Wyatt, the English writer and director of The Escapist and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, with the screenplay penned by William Monahan.James Toback’s original screenplay was released in cinemas in 1974.

The plot centreson Wahlberg’s character Jim Bennett. Bennett is a literature professor by day and a gambling man by night. He has a chip on his shoulder much bigger than the chips he bets with, which seems to stem from his wealthy and privileged upbringing and strained relationship with his mother. The death of Bennett’s Grandfather Ed, played by Oscar winner George Kennedy shortly before his own death in 2016, does nothing to enlighten Bennett’s view of the world. That world implodes when he’s faced with owing hundreds of thousands to an underground casino owner and a loan shark.

The principle relationships in The Gambler take shape between Bennett and a student in his lectures, called Amy Phillips, and another loan shark Frank. Frank is portrayed by the larger than life John Goodman, who some would argue outmuscles Wahlberg in creating the defining character of the film. Goodman shows a range of acting much beyond what he’s remembered for in the sitcom Roseanne. Amy’s attraction to Bennett does feel strange at times, not helped by the 20-year age difference, but she’s a much-needed presence and a driving force to finally help Bennett beat his demons. Amy becomes mixed up in Jim’s grimy, underground, violent casino lifestyle but eventually, thanks to the spin of a roulette wheel, he becomes debt free and able to set up a new beginning with her.

Fortunately, the world of online gaming is a far reach from the chaos seen on screen in The Gambler. Let’s take for example high quality online casino website such as 888casino that provides so much thrilling fun for players while protecting them from all the dangers on the outside world as it is employing responsible gaming environment. Log on or tap your screen to be taken to hundreds of great games, including slots, poker, roulette, black jack and baccarat. There are also live casino games that successfully recreate the atmosphere of being sat right at the table. Online gaming is rigorously regulated, in the UK by the Gambling Commission, and players won’t fall into traps of unmanageable debt. The industry promotes responsible gaming, self-limits and protection of minors.

Bennett wasn’t offered any support like this in The Gambler. Instead, his life was almost taken away from him by the mobs he’d become embroiled with, despite the support of his mother and Amy. It’s worth streaming this film or picking up the DVD to watch Wahlberg and Goodman fill the screen with casino-themed thrills.

© David Nusair