Boiler Room

Bomb Rating: 

This isn't just "Wall Street" for the new millennium -- it pretty much is "Wall Street."

I can't help being dubious about the existence of the type of "Boiler Rooms" -- brokerage chop shops, essentially -- portrayed in first-time writer/director Ben Younger's film. Am I supposed to understand that places where dozens of brokers sell fake stocks actually exist? Where the hell is the FTC? What do those government enforcers actually do all day -- shoot ping pong balls out of their asses? Then again, if you're stupid enough to buy a stock because somebody called you on the phone and told you to, you probably deserve to lose all your money.

While we're at it, am I supposed to believe that in this universe, Jews and rap music somehow go together? Try doing a movie about blacks with an all-Klezmer soundtrack. Sounds bad, doesn't it?

I guess Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) is supposed to represent the current desire for fast wealth in our instant-gratification economy. He operates a casino out of his Queens apartment until Greg (Nicky Katt) from J.T. Marlin shows up and offers him an opportunity at his brokerage firm. Since Seth is as desperate as George W. Bush to live up to the expectations of his father (Ron Rifkin), he takes the job without knowing what the firm actually does.

This isn't just "Wall Street" for the new millennium -- it pretty much is "Wall Street," only with different characters. There's so much similarity that the characters in "Boiler Room" quote "Glengarry Glen Ross" and watch "Wall Street" on television in an effort to suggest that the similarities are homages and not complete plagiarism. Hello? It's the same damn story. If you want to pay tribute to Oliver Stone, go blow him -- just don't make the rest of us watch.

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