Thursday, July 27, 2017

Movie Review: "Boiler Room" (2000)

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Movie"Boiler Room"
Director: Ben Younger
Year: 2000
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 0 minutes

A college dropout looking to earn a quick buck is hired at an off-Wall Street investment firm that's known for churning out young millionaire brokers. As he goes through his training, he starts to discover not everything at his firm is quite on the up and up.

"Boiler Room" is the feature film debut of writer/director Ben Younger. It stars Giovanni Ribisi as Seth Davis, a college dropout who is both intelligent and industrious. He wants nothing more than his father's approval, but can't find a way to get it no matter how hard he tries. In his latest attempt to win his father over, Seth gets a job at an off-Wall Street investment firm called J. T. Marlin, a company known for taking young men and turning them into millionaire brokers. Joining Ribisi are Nicky Katt, Vin Diesel, Jamie Kennedy, Nia Long, Scott Caan, Tom Everett Scott, and Ben Affleck.

This film is basically "The Wolf of Wall Street" 13 years before "The Wolf of Wall Street" was made. There is a good explanation for this because "Boiler Room" is inspired by the life of Jordan Belfort, whose biography was adapted into Scorsese's Academy Award nominated biopic in 2013 "The Wolf of Wall Street." This particular movie is a movie about men in their 20's who are obsessed with excess and getting wealthy. They can quote the film "Wall Street" word for word as if it were truth and gospel. They idolize Gordon Gekko, but seem to forget how poorly that particular movie ended for their idol. Under all this opulent display of wealth is the core of the story about one father-son relationship. Everything Seth Davis does is an attempt to earn his father's respect. Of course, his father isn't easily impressed and is very image-conscious as a publicly elected judge. The two go back and forth throughout the movie in very dramatic fashion as Seth seems damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. The drama doesn't end there as Seth's love interest Abbie, played by Nia Long, has a past history with his friend Greg, played by Nicky Katt, the person who brought him into the firm. Just when you thought there wasn't enough going on in this flick, an FBI and SEC investigation is added on for good measure.

On top of this drama is an engaging film with solid acting, including a young Ben Affleck doing his best-but-own version of Alec Baldwin's "Always Be Closing" monolog from "Glengarry Glenn Ross." "Boiler Room" is an interesting film and has a very early 2000's feel, but still manages to hold up relatively well. Unfortunately, it now has the disadvantage of being second best to Martin Scorsese's version of the story.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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