‘Poolhall Junkies’ is one of those films with a hip-looking cover and name. The sort of film that makes you go ‘Er! Who do they think they are!’ when you look at the cover… like it’s trying so hard to be all cool and ‘Lock Stock’ish. But eventually I had to give in and succumb to marketing, and so I checked it out.
Mars Martin plays Johnny Doyle, a poolhall hustler who doesn’t know where hiss life is going and yadda-yadda-yadda… what do you want to know? It’s actually a pretty good film, for all it’s cult intentions it at least manages to be enjoyable and make sense (unlike, say, Boondock Saints). Mars Martin actually co-wrote and directed it, as well as played the lead. His performance is generally okay, and his direction seems a little too remiscent of ‘Hollywood-Guy Ritchie’ at times, but the dialogue and story are fun. There’s a lot of characters, and not all of them get the screen-time they deserve, but each is as defined as they need to be, and the film benefits greatly from this level of character-familiarity as a result.
This is a sort of film that could easily get itself that ‘cult’ tag, like ‘True Romance’ or ‘Lock, Stock’ or ‘Dazed and Confused’. It’s not the greatest of movies, but as I said – it’s fun. I was entertained, and so I can’t be too harsh on it – despite it’s flaws. Plus, anything with Chazz Palminetri and Christopher Walken in it has got to be cool, right?
TRIVIA: This was Rod Steiger’s last film.