In this modern epic, Kim Nguyen exposes the ruthless edge of our increasingly digital world. Cousins from New York, Vincent (Eisenberg) and Anton (Skarsgård) are players in the high-stakes game of High Frequency Trading, where winning is measured in milliseconds. Their dream? To build a fiber-optic cable straight between Kansas and New Jersey, making them millions. But nothing is straightforward for this flawed pair. Anton is the brains, Vincent is the hustler, and together they push each other and everyone around them to breaking point on their quixotic adventure. Constantly breathing down their necks is their old boss Eva Torres (Hayek) a powerful, intoxicating and manipulative trader who will stop at nothing to come between them and beat them at their own game. No matter what the cost, Vincent and Anton are determined to cut through America, only to find redemption at the end of their line, not through money, but through family and reconnecting to the land.
Jesse Eisenberg memorized the entire script before recording started. This was confirmed by him and the director at the Toronto International Film Festival. The director also confirmed that the story was fictional but that it reflect advances in trading technology. See more »
Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgard are entrepreneurs who undertake an audacious venture to deliver a fiber optic cable from Kansas to the New York Stock Exchange that is faster than all the other portals by just enough to make a staggering difference in market returns. In choosing to take this gamble, they wind up using valuable information obtained from working for their former boss (an effectively domineering Salma Hayek) whom they now find is their competition.
Although this is a well-acted film, its momentum is a bit erratic. The storyline never loses its energy but the plot sometimes takes peculiar detours. This ambitious enterprise is fraught with the emotional imbalance of its two dissimilar protagonists, one a highly calculating salesman (Eisenberg) and the other a neurotic computer wiz (Skarsgard). We discover that each one has motivations of his own. As considerable opposites, they keep the film's dynamic engaging.
Some of the film's best moments are when these two aspiring masters of the universe find the core principles behind their work being challenged by the citizenry they cross paths with. The film takes a mild-mannered look at the ethics of the project but mostly lets the audience judge for itself. Recommended as workmanlike filmmaking on obscure but compelling material.
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