Just when you thought every angle of sports had been covered in movies, Two for the Money comes in and proves you wrong. In his latest flick, J.D. Caruso takes a look at professional sports betting. By presenting both sides of the betting lines, Caruso scores big with a movie that is as entertaining as it is well-acted.
After being injured in the field, Brandon Lang must forego his football career. While working in an agency recording radio ads, he catches the eye of Walter Abrams, a successful businessman at the head of a successful sports hotline that’shushed by most networks.
Taking him under his wing, Abrams turns Lang into an equally successful businessman, changing his look, his job, and even his name. From small town has-been to million dollar man, Lang’s life takes an unexpected turn. As he reaches heights he never would have dreamed of though, he realizes that the higher you rise, the harder the fall will be if the foundations are not solid. When you fuel other people’s addictions for a living, the process will eventually take a toll on your conscience.
Although the plot is rooted in the world of sports, anyone can enjoy the movie. In spite of a jargon that sometimes gets confusing, the movie focuses on both sides of the phone lines. From those calling the shots to the betters that are willing to risk their last penny, the movie offers a balance between both sides of the story, shining a sympathetic light on those who are willing to lose everything to fulfil their addictive needs.
The movie draws its strength from the lead characters. Matthew McConaughey is perfectly cast as a former pro footballer, still passionate about his game. After a few disappointing performances in such flops as Gigli and People I Know, Pacino proves he’s got his mojo working again, delivering a performance that lives up to his Scarface days. Rene Russo is also back in the game, after a few years away from the spotlight. Staking a claim at a comeback, this role should prepare her for a career revival.
Caruso adds rhythm to a story that could have otherwise been dull. His movie is laced with influences from his latest projects such as Taking Lives and TV’s Smallville and Dark Angel.
All of these elements make Two for the Money a superior movie that, in spite of a few slightly moralising touches, remains true, touching, and open-minding. Penned with wit and compassion, it touches the daring subject of addiction that too often remains hushed.