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Genre: Drama/Thriller
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Al Pacino, Rene Russo, Armand Assante
Director: D.J. Caruso
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scene)
Year Made: 2005







Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 2 hrs 2 mins
Region Code: VCD
Distributor: Berjaya HVN




After cruel injury rules out the prospect of a glittering career, Brandon Lang uses his unparalleled knowledge of the professional football game to get back to the top by plying his skills in the hugely lucrative sports betting industry. Lang's talent is spotted early and he's soon drafted in as successor to Walter Abrams' extravagant sports network. The support and affections of wife Toni Morrow can't protect Abrams against a detrimental lifestyle even though fortunes are won by his understudy. But whilst betting other people's money means big rewards, there are also big risks. Brandon's unwavering need to win takes him trailblazing into the gambling underworld where only the trust and teamwork of those closest can bring him back to normality.


Everyone loves a gamble, a knock on the door of Lady Luck, a prediction that goes the right way - yours. Sports is an area where bets are put, a guess or analysis on the better sports person / team. It's no wonder that if you make a casual flip of the local New Paper, the sports pages are full of predictions done by reporters, punters, and the so-called experts. Of late, there are the 1900 numbers to call, charging dollars per minute for that sure-fire tip.

And that, is the premise Two for the Money is based upon. The sports betting industry in the US, and a look behind those 900 numbers. Matthew McConaughey plays an ex-football player Brandon Lang, who suffered what every sportsman fear, a career ending injury. So begins a fairly lucrative start up career as a sports adviser dispensing tips in a small time gambling house, recording his betting advice on the cheap. He's good because he was in the game before, therefore possessing intimate knowledge of the players, teams and tactics.

When you're good, you'll be headhunted, and he gets an opportunity to join the big boys in the industry when he's invited for trials in sports television mogul Walter Abrams (Al Pacino), and before you know it, Abrams begins to groom Lang into his potential successor, creating an entirely new fictional persona in which Lang operates in - arrogant, and smooth talking, and slowly but surely, Lang has to eat, breathe and live this character as he goes from lending his voice, to showing his face and talent on network television. It's always an adrenaline rush knowing you're red hot in your crystal ball gazing skills, earning handsome commissions from the bets that the big rollers place.

Watching how things work behind the scenes is the high point in the movie. The phone calls, the pushy tactics, the convincing persuasion to bet big and thus win big (or lose big), the building of reputation, the marketing techniques, the forging of relationships with clients, office rivalry, the list just goes on. And observing how the selling go about, just makes you think twice about the pitch those advertisements make.

The movie's not without flaws, and the weaker moments are the cliched relationships featured amongst its main characters Lang, Abrams and his wife Toni Morrow (Rene Russo). We see the usual mentor-protege role between Lang and Abrams moulded from Wall Street's Gekko-Fox, or even another Pacino movie The Devil's Advocate. Here, their relationship stems from Lang's unwitting search for a surrogate father, which he finds in Abrams. despite Abrams' egomaniac mood swings and belief in capitalizing on other's greed to push their revenues sky high. Well, that's the way most private corporations are run anyway.

The weirdest part would be Abrams' seemingly candid nonchalance about his wife Toni's relationship with Lang. Suffice to say that it'll all require a bit getting used to, and contributes to a major closure towards the end. Perhaps the dynamics between Abrams and Morrow is interesting to study, with each being quite open about revealing their disgraceful past to strangers, wearing it on their sleeves as they take quite moping sessions and fight their addictions to respective vices.

In typical Hollywood fashion, this supposedly dark tale of negative human emotions ended in the usual way without much fanfare. We witness the telling of the moral of the story quite explicitly, that it doesn't pay to gamble - Lady Luck is extremely fickle, you can win big today, but you can lose it all tomorrow. It's small wonder that most "experts" dispense, but don't accept bets on their own advice.


Review by Stefan Shih


Other titles from HVN Berjaya:

. The Bourne Ultimatum

. Shrek The Third

. Knocked Up

. Evan Almighty

. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

. Transformers

. Blades of Glory

. Disturbia

. Shooter

. Freedom Writers

. Hot Fuzz

. Charlotte's Web

. The Good Shepherd

. Dreamgirls

. Smokin Aces

. Catch A Fire

. Man Of The Year

. Napoleon Dynamite

. Flushed Away

. Coach Carter

. Children Of Men

. Barnyard

. World Trade Centre

. Accepted

. Nacho Libre

. Stay Alive

. Miami Vice

. United 93

. You, Me and Dupree

. M:I:3

. Over The Hedge

. The Break-Up

. Curious George

. American Dreamz

. Bring It On All Or Nothing

. Aeon Flux

. Inside Man

. Elizabethtown

. Spongebob Squarepants Movie

. Four Brothers

. War Of The Worlds

. Munich

. Madagascar

. King Kong

. American Pie: Band Camp

. Surviving Christmas

. Perfect Man, The


This review is made possible with the kind support from HVN Berjaya


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