Casino Jack Reviews
Spacey's portrayal of Abramoff gets at the man's contradictions - his ostensibly devout Jewish faith next to an almost sociopathic blindness to his misdeeds - but it never even partly explains them.
Spacey has fun doing Abramoff doing Al Pacino, President Ronald Reagan and Sylvester Stallone. But the typically strong Spacey isn't the only actor doing commanding work here.
Hickenlooper works in brief, vibrant scenes and happy sunshine -- the movie is meant to be a giddy entertainment more than a morality tale, though the giddiness is trailed by an appropriate tug of unease.
It is Spacey's performance that contains most of the movie's mystery; although Abramoff's actions left little room for justification, in Spacey's performance, there is some.
Compounding matters is an ungainly lead perf by Kevin Spacey, emphasizing superficial cynicism, and George Hickenlooper's direction, which lacks the bravura necessary to bring the most emblematic episode of recent Washington corruption fully to life.
Spacey has a field day as the hyper-energetic Abramoff, the former producer of the Dolph Lundgren epic "Red Scorpion" who observes that "Washington is Hollywood with ugly people."
Casino Jack is really two movies: a convoluted tale about the exploits of disgraced Washington super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, coupled with a zealous-if-misguided performance from Kevin Spacey in the title role.
Spacey is the reason to see Casino Jack. This movie will stand alongside The Usual Suspects and American Beauty as examples of what the actor is capable of accomplishing when he is properly motivated.