Flicks: The Color of Money

February 17th, 2007

I never think of Tom Cruise as being old, but seeing him as he started out is wild. Vince is young and cocky and dumb as a post. I was afraid that it would be a rehash of The Hustler, but after enjoying the original so much, I had to see it. It’s definitely not a rehash. It’s another story told in the same dystopian wasteland. No one has anything other than self-interest in mind. The characters are all totally screwed up, but in entirely different ways.
Vince, with his bouffant hair and his machismo, is an idiot. But he’s got talent, which just makes him worse. He doesn’t get the hustle. He doesn’t value his talent. He just wants to beat people at pool, but if he can get some money in the process, so much the better. If Vincent is the innocent in the story, he isn’t by the end of the movie.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s character is a fascinating counterpoint to the original’s Sarah. Instead of trying to save Vince, she’s there to exploit him. She’s cold and hard and understands the hustle far, far better than he does.
Eddie’s life is empty. He’s got money and success and a Cadillac. To say he’s turned into Bert Gordon is a bit too simple, but he’s definitely lost his way. He doesn’t find purpose again until he sees Vince play. It reminds him of what he was, of what he had.

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