Kevin Spacey plays felled megalobyist Jack Abramoff in this comedic take on one of the more repulsive American political controversies of the last several years. As the titular jack plays one Aboriginal tribe against another in an effort to gain both financial incentives and political power, he finds himself being challenged by some of those that he has run over in his drive for success.
The film does a decent job at creating an accessible narrative out of the complexity of the actual situation, and Spacey does his best to make Jack both slimy and not completely unwatchable. Still, this tounge-in-cheek tone mixed with the intrigue doesn’t always play, and when it bombs, it’s pretty uncomfortable. Spacey’s not had an easy go of late, and while this isn’t likely to see him regain his prominence, it does speak well of his talents. Hickenlooper too hasn’t really hit the mainstream, save for his role in the (phenomenal) HEARTS OF DARKNESS doc, and this film unfortunately isn’t likely to propel him either into great acclaim. Still, for a relatively slight work, there’s enough to mildly recommend it to those willing to embrace this comedic tragedy, if only to see that Jon Lovitz (who I often adore) can still get work.