Prime Gig [2000]

Vince Vaughn stars in this story of high-pressure boiler room telemarketing scams. Vaughn plays Pendelton "Penny" Wise (get it?), a small-time operator who's looking for a bigger score. He takes a "prime gig" with Kelly Grant (Ed Harris), a high-stakes player with a shady gold mine to sell. Prime Gig sets up an unusual tension: you want to root for Penny even though you know he may be bilking people out of their life savings and is most definitely a sleazebag. Harris does well, making what could have been a typical Gordon Gekko knockoff character a little more internalized and interesting, and Julia Ormond does a fine job of fleshing out a character who very well may have been named "Romantic Interest." Vaughn uses his onscreen persona well here--he deftly maintains the hero-scumball balance, never quite letting go of either. Prime Gig is not a perfectly realized movie, but a compelling watch nonetheless. --Ali Davis

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