Clive Owen is the shit. Really. And I say that having come to the inclusion the man is a one trick pony. It’s just that I so love the trick I really don’t mind watching it over and over. Every character he plays seems to carry himself with a dry apathy that instantly endears them to me, whether he be confronting questions of faithfulness and intimacy in Closer or playing unlikely hero to a child savoir in Children of Men. So it was only right that I went back to Croupier, his "break-through" role, and the film that made several web-sites push for him to become the new Bond (He wears a tux you see.) to see where it all began.
Overall the film is nothing special. I dug it, but past Owen’s performance and some nice noir beats it’s just lacking a Spanish Prisoner level of intrigue and needed to break out of its plodding pace, a break that I felt never came. There’s also a ton of ‘life is like a deck of cards’/’life is a gamble’ rhetoric – and there’s only so much of that one can take after all, even when it comes from Clive "the shit" Owen himself.