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Freddie Prinze Jr.,
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Freddie Prinze Jr.,
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A pool hustler becomes a member of a pack of hustlers. He rises to the top, but soon finds himself the monkey in the middle of a match between his boss and a crooked cop.
Freddie Prinze Jr. seems to have a string of bad films lately, with such titles like Scooby Doo, Summer Catch and Scooby Doo 2. But one only has to look at his film credits to see that he hasn't been in a really good movie at all. His career ranges from teen slasher flicks to a poor excuse for a video game adaption. It seems with Shooting Gallery Freddie is trying to show that he's serious now, and that he's left his Scooby Doo image behind. Well, Freddie, I got a message for ya, keep dreaming'
When I first came across Shooting Gallery, Poolhall Junkies rip-off is what came to my mind, but for the sake of an argument, I gave it a chance. After watching it, I still came to the conclusion that it's a poolhall junkies ripoff and a poorly executed one too. The main character here tries to act as if he's cool and slick, but with Freddi Prinze Jr. as your main catch, he's comes off and nothing more then a pretty face who thinks he can shoot some pool. In the final stages of the film, I wanted to cut my ears off I couldn't stand his "broken nose" accent. Ving Rhames makes an appearance. All he does is walk around and chew on alligator feet. He actually does nothing in the film, until the climax when he shoots some pool and a gun.
In the film "Rounders" Norton has an ace tattooed on his arm, he says that he has an ace up his sleeve, it worked. In "Shooting Gallery" they get 8 balls tattooed on their arm, with Rhames on his bald head. It shows that their part of a gang...but it doesn't work. Rhames outfit is comical, you should see it to believe it. The plot is poorly written, and one of those, he was hustling everyone from the start type gigs, completely clichéd.
The pool shooting is quite good, not better then what is showcased in "Poolhall Junkies" but good nonetheless. Freddie actually shoots some pool here, nice to see that, but it's obvious that the trick shots are done by someone else. I liked the whole switching of the shooting sides that Freddie does near the end though, I thought that was a neat addition. "Poolhall Junkies" has Walken and "Shooting Gallery" has Macfadyen. Macfadyen is definitely the highlight here as the drunk, druggie, poolhall hustler. He brings some enthusiasm to an otherwise dead cast. It was nice to see some life pumped into this dead film, but it doesn't last long.
The poolhall lingo consists of what the director has heard and made up. Which is obvious when you listen to other lines such as "If I'm Lyin...I'm Dyin." Some characters names, if you'd like to hear are Paulie the Pawn and Cue Ball Carl. What's with the random words appearing on the screen? Poolhall lingo? Purpose to the script? It was distracting and adds nothing to the experience except confusion and dread.
Skip "Shooting Gallery" unless you want a headache from poor acting and a clichéd plot. "Poolhall Junkies" this is not. Unless you're a massive fan of pool, check out something else.
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