Richard Gere is back with a new film called Arbitrage. Gere plays a business tycoon/wheeler-dealer who seems to be the darling of Wall Street but, like many such perspectives of recent years, appearances can be deceiving—and so can Gere’s character.
The real draw of the film is in the evil way it brings us into the fold. Almost from the start, we know Gere’s character, Robert Miller, is a snake. He’s living life for only one person no matter how many protestations to the contrary he makes. We also know that when it comes to the family business he’s done something for which there’s no question as to his guilt. This is a man we wouldn’t trust to pay his share of the bill let alone do the right thing—ever. Yet, for all these faults, the movie still manages to get us to cheer in a way we never could for Wall Street‘s fictional Gordon Gekko. I think much of the credit is due to the cast of Gere who just has that special charisma that seems to never fail him.
The most disappointing aspect of the film is that for much of it’s running time it’s stamped out of a rusting Hollywood cookie-cutter. Thankfully it manages to pull away from that beginning in its final act to present the viewer with something of some real interest.
The acting is solid with Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and other lesser-known’s joining Gere for the trip. Of the second group most notable is Nate Parker who plays a character that just might be too disposable to Miller. It’s a pleasure watching him skate the thinnest of all possible lines.
In the end the movie was enjoyable but nothing special. I liked it. You may like it, but I doubt we’ll be hearing anything about it at the Oscars.