A nuanced performance from leading man Ben Mendelsohn elevates this by-the-numbers buddy movie into a stuttering character study about good people who do bad things.
Taking its cue from classic The Sting, Mississippi Grind is the latest in a long line of gambling films that don’t feel the need to let their audience in on what’s actually happening.
Poker terminology swamps the narrative in a heady fug of cheap perfume and cheaper whiskey, all set against a lazily drawn backdrop of the ‘good times’ southern states. Then there’s the plot and central characters, whose actions never seem connected to their wonky personalities.
A perfectly enjoyable, but forgettable, road flick for a sleepy Sunday evening, but Ryan Reynolds’ latest step on the comeback trail isn’t the winning hand he’d hoped for.
CAST: Ben Mendelsohn, Ryan Reynolds
DIRECTORS: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
WRITERS: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
SYNOPSIS: Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry (Mendelsohn) teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis (Reynolds), in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost.