Film · Film Review

Film Review: Win It All (2017)

Netflix’s Win It All is a story about a gambling addict with no job or prospects trying to come to terms with his addiction and trying to get a hold of his life. Read my review…

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Jake Johnson plays a character named Eddie who agrees to watch a duffel bag for an acquaintance heading for prison. But when he discovers cash in the bag, he’s unable to resist the temptation and winds up in huge debt. When the prison release is shortened, Eddie suddenly has a small window of time to win all the money back.  Check out the trailer.

I really like Jake Johnson. Aside from New Girl, I’ve also enjoyed his work in other independent movies like Drinking Buddies and Safety Not Guaranteed. Once again, he brings it in this movie too. He has the ability to look extremely comfortable and natural on screen for any character he may be playing. Which makes him a very good actor in my eyes. He is completely believable as an addict in this movie as well as teetering on the edge of self-realization in order to sort his life out.

The direction by Joe Swanberg is also quite good in portraying Eddie and helping us understand the character and his problems through his actions, his behaviour and his decisions – it’s all about ‘show, not tell!’. As you progress through the story, Eddie becomes a little more likeable as he tries to put his life back together. But in the end, it’s just not enough. Then again, that may be the point when it comes to a gambling addict who is having difficulties staying away. With that in mind, Jake Johnson puts in a great performance.

I did have a problem with a lot of the other technical aspects of the movie. A lot of the dialogue seemed to be improvised which just didn’t work in this case. There were a lot of times when the scene dragged on and it just felt awkward. Some of the work in the front of and behind the camera seemed a little amateurish at times. For example, it was very obvious when the extras were waiting for their queue to start moving. This happened a whole bunch of times.

I also had big(!) problems with the main crux of the third act and how it reflects on addicts in general fighting the urge to relapse. But without going into spoilers, I can’t fully articulate why the way the story leaves the character of Eddi and how he gets there did not sit well with me.

Overall, Win It All is a mediocre attempt at showing the struggles of an addict that is hindered by its third act decisions that left a sour taste in my mouth. Despite all that, Jake Johnson puts in a great performance as he always does.


My Score: 2.5/5 – probably give it a miss.

Win It All is available to watch now on Netflix. If you’ve seen it already, then share your thoughts in the comments below. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

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