Director Ernest R. Dickerson
Written by Michael Ritchie, Jason Keller
Stars David Krumholtz, Tory Kittles, Carmine Giovinazzo
Music by Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek
Running Time 88min
Release date Sep 7, 2004
Country United States of America
David Krumholtz Benny Silman
Tory Kittles Stevin ‘Hedake’ Smith
Carmine Giovinazzo T-Bone
Jennifer Morrison Callie
Nicholas Turturro Joe Jr.
Frank John Hughes Brady
Zachary Levi Adam
James Le Gros Troy
Theo Rossi The Mook
Alex Rocco Dominic
Keith Loneker Big Red
Jeremy Luke Nick
Andy Buckley FBI Agent Simms
Colin Patrick Lynch Agent Vasquez
Benny Silman from Brooklyn New York finds himself in Arizona State University studying economics. He likes being far from New York because he gets to see the sun, see hot girls and live it up in Las Vegas which is a few hours from campus. He finds other New Yorkers in his dorm and they make good friends.
Being that Benny Silman is good in math, he ends up being subcontracted as a bookie by Troy who is also a bookie. Business booms and he ends up making decent money while giving Troy his cut. Although betting was illegal on campus, the money kept Benny Silman coming back.
After a while he gets bored working for Troy and he decides to start his own betting business. He makes a deal with Joe Jr., who is a friend’s brother but he ends up losing $6000. Joe Jr who is a stockbroker does not punish Benny for the loss but instead comes up with an idea of tricking the “spread” to make money.
They find an accomplice Stevin ‘Hedake’ Smith who is a NBA-class basketball player that does not mind making an extra buck. The plot is a success and they end up making a lot of money that attracts Big Red to the mix. Big Red, who is a drug lord, imposes himself as an additional investor and Benny decides to keep this information a secret.
Juggling being a bookie, school and dating Callie becomes too much for Benny. Callie wants Benny to stop wasting his time as a bookie and look towards the future with a stable job, but Benny has other ideas.
Things start to go south when Stevin ‘Hedake’ Smith starts making expensive purchases with the money he made from the deals. In the frenzy of getting everything done on time, Benny exhausts himself and he ends up falling asleep. He wakes up late and tries handling going on a date with Callie but ends up in an argument with Stevin ‘Hedake’ Smith.
Benny decides to push his luck one more time, however, he did not know his luck was out. Word gets out and people gamble huge on a small unimportant game between Washington and Arizona. They end up losing the game and Big Red comes after Benny along with Joe Jr friends. The FBI notice this unusual activity and they start investigating.
This is a typical campus-themed movie but with a sharp script that makes it worthwhile. Benny is a good student gifted in math. The call of fast money is just too strong for him though. He tries juggling everything but in the end, it all ends up collapsing around him.
It is a very entertaining movie that shows the dangers of engaging in high-risk activities like illegal gambling. The movie also shows how difficult it is to juggle romance and business without one party suffering. Callie who is Benny’s girlfriend tries to steer him to the right path but it is hard because Benny is a know-it-all.
We get to see the relationship struggle as Benny is forced to face the legal consequences of his actions. The characters in the movie transition well from scene to scene allowing the story to flow seamlessly. There are some funny scenes for those who crave comic relief and a bit of action with Big Red who is trigger happy.
Overall, the picture quality and the storyline makes this movie fun to watch for adults.
As stated above, this movie has a sharp script that makes the story easy to follow. The quality of the picture together with the director’s skill gives the movie levity that is needed for such a serious subject as illegal gambling. From satisfied viewers, this movie has a rating of 6 which marks a good movie in our books. If you like a bit of college drama, this is a must watch from the 2000s.