Friday, September 3, 2021

The Card Counter Review: A Solid Turn But Doesn't Have Pocket Aces

Willem Dafoe	...	Major John Gordo Oscar Isaac	Oscar Isaac	...	William Tell Tye Sheridan	Tye Sheridan	...	Cirk Tiffany Haddish	Tiffany Haddish	...	La Linda Ekaterina Baker	Ekaterina Baker	...	Sara Joel Michaely	Joel Michaely	...	Ronnie Billy Slaughter	Billy Slaughter	...	Fiddle Amye Gousset	Amye Gousset	...	Judy Baufort Marlon Hayes	Marlon Hayes	...	Poker tournament Attendant Adrienne Lau	Adrienne Lau	...	Crystal Calvin Williams	Calvin Williams	...	Poker Dealer Hassel Kromer	Hassel Kromer	...	World poker tournament card dealer Dylan Flashner	Dylan Flashner	...	Sergeant Hoskins Fran Robertson	Fran Robertson	...	Casino Patron Alexander Babara	Alexander Babara	...	MR. USA John Ceallach	John Ceallach	...	PSYOPS Soldier Rachel Michiko Whitney	Rachel Michiko Whitney	...	Nancy Britton Webb	Britton Webb	...	Roger Baufort

Release date: September 10, 2021
Running time: 111 minutes
Paul Schrader
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, Willem Dafoe

Redemption is the long game in Paul Schrader’s THE CARD COUNTER. Told with Schrader’s trademark cinematic intensity, the revenge thriller tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler haunted by the ghosts of his past decisions, and features riveting performances from stars Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe.

Rob Eubanks	...	Second Player Bobby C. King	Bobby C. King	...	Slippery Joe Alireza Mirmontazeri	Alireza Mirmontazeri	...	Military Guard Dior Choi	Dior Choi	...	Local Newsman Danny Chung	Danny Chung	...	Bobby Justine Salas	Justine Salas	...	Rhinestone Cowgirl Joseph Singletary	Joseph Singletary	...	Inmate Lucky Belcamino	Lucky Belcamino	...	Self - Lucky Kate Lyn Whitaker	Kate Lyn Whitaker	...	News Anchor / Female Soldier (voice) Lamar Lott	Lamar Lott	...	Pit Boss Joey Traywick	Joey Traywick	...	Prisoner Alfonzo Walker	Alfonzo Walker	...	Casino Security Officer Kirill Sheynerman	Kirill Sheynerman	...	Prison Guard Bryan Truong	Bryan Truong	...	Minnesota Douglas DeLisle	Douglas DeLisle	...	Poker Player Skylar Neale	Skylar Neale	...	Military Prisoner Muhsin Fliah	Muhsin Fliah	...	Civilian Translator Craig Deroche	Craig Deroche	...	Prisoner
The main draw of The Card Counter, and the best thing about it, is the stellar cast headlined by Oscar Isaac.  I really liked his poker persona and no nonsense, constantly gambling under the radar character.  He had a very distinct personality, quirks, and habits that made him compelling to see.  And all of his strange behaviors had reasons, though I didn't love the way that they were explained.  Haddish was a fun foil to Isaac, and her character is just as confident as him but much more outgoing and hoping to break him out of his shell.  And Sheridan was an entertaining addition to the cast though his character was not as well defined as the other ones. 

And the film also has a really great use of music.  Most of it is sort of a haunting techno type music, not unlike something that you would hear in a science fiction film.  Occassionally there are other types of music that willl draw your attention, like when it blares metal briefly.  And towards the end there is one poker hand where all the music stops and it is a striking effect.  But throughout you have some really wonderful music that propels the story forward.

However, the story is where The Card Counter is let down.  The story is mysterious and slowly reveals more about Will's strange mannerisms and backstory, but as you learn more it leaves more questions than it answers.  Will's presona seems well established, yet he has a pretty dramatic character change early on for seemingly no reason.  This does help to propel the story along but it seems like a strangely convenient shift.  And then the film kind of goes off the rails at the end completely.  The ending sequence does not leave the audience fulfilled and causes some very strange character shifts.  It really is a shame as the movie was interesting up until this point, but then just kind of jumped off the deep end.  And on top of this, the story is a slow one; which I normally don't mind except in this case there was no payoff for the slow character development.  

The Card Counter's style, music, and mysterious characters will bring you to the table, but the story and ending might make you fold early.

Pass on it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
The Card Counter is in theaters on September 10, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

No comments:

Post a Comment