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As a young girl, Alicia "Ace" Anderson (Swain) had been taught the fine art and the mathematical probabilities of Texas Hold-em poker by the father she adored. But that world came to an end when her father was taken from her in a fatal auto accident. Years later, as she enters medical school, she will need to call upon the skills her father taught her as she struggles with the rigorous medical training, mounting financial pressures and the seamier side of medicine. Her friends and fellow students combine their unique talents and skills to produce a team who may well be the ultimate poker machine. But as the stakes in both the casinos and the operating room continue to rise, Ace comes to understand what her father taught her: in order to really live, you need to go all in. Written by
Embarrassing as a Poker movie, and too full of itself for melodrama...
Y'know, I saw this listed on one of the Showtime channels, and I like poker so I thought I'd give it a glance...
Oh man... Look, I'm not one normally to go as far off the deep end in coming down on a film as a lot of people do, but really, All In deserves every bit of blasting that it's getting here (except of course for all of those suspicious gushing posts at the start). This felt to me like it was written by a 14-year old who likes poker but also wanted to make his socio-political "statement" without having any sort of life experience there to make such a statement. This could've been fun if there was some sort of high camp value to it (like say what Showgirls has) but it just takes itself too damn seriously.
Dominique Swain is never once convincing that she has these poker "skills" (seeming more of an embarrassment to anyone that's ever studied the game) and often times, especially during one of her emotional rants, she comes off as grating more than anything else. I thought it was nice to see both Michael Madsen and Lou Gossett, Jr. here, though it's clear that they're cashing a check, they at least still have some credibility to their parts. Not so with the rest of the cast, especially our cartoonish doctors and the Saved By The Bell-lite medical students.
But then still you have to contend with the poor pacing and the extremely clumsy way of shooting this, there's never any tension here, and never any excitement. this one's both an embarrassment as a poker movie and even as schlocky soap opera... 1/10 and that's being generous...
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