“Boiler Room” marks the directorial debut of newcomer Ben Younger and stars Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Tom (formerly Thomas) Everett Scott, Scott Caan, Ron Rifkin, Nia Long and undoubtedly one of most annoying “A-List” actors working in Hollywood today, Ben Affleck.
“B.R.” opens, as most movies written and directed by young filmmakers… by showing a troubled relationship between our lead and a parental unit.
In this case we have Seth (Ribisi) and his father, renown judge, Marty Davis (Rifkin). The story takes the viewer on a ride through their family turmoil when Seth gets involved with the glamour and high stakes of the pressure filled life of the stock market.
It is at this point where all comparisons are going to be made to these recent films: 1998’s unexpectedly entertaining “Rounders” and David Mamet’s brilliant “GlenGarry, Glen Ross” (1992). In fact, Ben Affleck’s first scene is obviously a copy of Alec Baldwin’s Oscar worthy cameo from “GlenGarry”, the only problem being the glaring omission of any acting talent in Affleck’s limited repertoire.
Overall, “Boiler Room” is not a bad film and its biggest flaw is not the Ben Affleck character, although most of his scenes are tedious. It is the “Melrose Place”-like cast that fails to create characters that gain the credibility in their line of work that the aforementioned films did so successfully. Honestly though, in comparison to the brilliant “GlenGarry, Glen Ross” did this poor film ever really stand a chance?