Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker scratch that... a gambler. Well he is an English professor but ultimately a self-destroying gambler. In his own defense, he is a good person at heart and a Nobelist. As an eccentric professor at best, he knows to spot talents and the movie establishes very well his ability and those 2-3 students he acknowledged as special.
As anybody could foresee, Jim goes into a great debt out of nothing. Just because Jim and the movie wanted Jim to create a debt so the movie could exist.
Borrowing from a gangster, he quickly puts his life in danger. At some point, his mother gives him all the money he needs for his debt. However, Jim does not pay his debt because the movie would end right there. Instead he loses all that money in a casino and starts right from the beginning. A romantic story unveils with Captain Marve... I mean with his student, Amy where he spotted her as a writing prodigy and she tries to bring Jim back to a good life. In the meantime Jim goes to Frank (John Goodman), another loan shark, where he defines the position of "F@#% you" and as a true gambler, Jim tries to do something very clever and stupid at the same time where it ultimately saves his life.
Having already said that there is a plot hole, the movie is very enjoyable. Appropriate pauses for the viewer to digest all the wisdom and action that takes place. The key facts are well established and used when they should. Go and see this underrated movie.
- "Ed: What do you say to the fact that I'm gonna die? Jim: I'm going to miss you. Ed: Fuck that. I won't know about that. I need to know what you're worth when I leave you nothing."
- "Jim: If you take away nothing else from my class, desiring a thing cannot make you have it."