Spacey gives one of his best performances in recent memory, as he somehow makes this truly unlikable character, sympathetic. And though what Abramoff did in real life could never be condoned, Spacey’s character most certainly could. Barry Peppers does a solid job playing in the films words “Abramoff’s evil twin”. Kelly Preston as well, gives a nice supporting role as the wife who reminds Jack not to get in too deep with these crook deals (he should’ve listen, eh?). Still, the great performances that add some nice emotional and comical flourishes, can’t save the films inevitable incoherent and sporadic tone as the picture spirals out of control, trying to infuse serious melo-drama with parodies of other films.
Casino Jack, through thick and thin, has a hard time figuring out its purpose. As an entertaining bit of escapism, it works. As a bio-picture of this unethical though rather interesting man, it misses the mark. This is a perfect example of a film that contains brilliance, but somehow ends up nowhere near it. Kevin Spacey’s performance is truly special and that alone is worth the watch. Sadly, the pictures plot structure, and inconsistent political narrative, drags down the final product. Conclusively only one statement could truly be justified (and or fit) for this film: Casino Jack, unlike its protagonist, should’ve taken more risks, in almost every considerable area.