The Prime Gig
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall, the film works. It's quirky and suspenseful simultaneously, and although the plot seems familiar at first, Wheeler takes it in unexpected directions. Mosher's direction is also good, without pompously drawing attention to itself. A well-made film.
The Prime Gig offers slices of entertainment that keep you modestly plugged into the movie, but ultimately, those slices are not enough to suffice. Characters come and go without us caring, and the main characters look as bored as we do. Vaughn plays a conman who goes to work for a master con-artist and ultimately meets his match. There's some attempts to make us care along the way, and some dialogue that tries to assert itself, but at the end of the day, we still don't care and strike 'The Prime Gig' from the first cut at the "Could Have Been a Cool Movie" tryouts.
What made those movies better, and this one worse, is that in those movies we can totally believe the ending, whereas here we can't. Although the set up is believable, the mechanics of the final rip-off do not seem possible. If they had spent just a bit more time and effort making us believe in the scenario whereby the con man finally gets conned himself, the movie would have been better. Instead, it ends with a whimper, not a bang.
The opening establishes Penny, played by Vince Vaughn, as the alpha dog seller and self proclaimed "Norma Rae" of the office. After an all too brief interlude in this intriguing environment, however, Penny is recruited by a mysterious new operation. Led by Julia Ormond and Ed Harris, this new job is a high stakes, high dollar market for selling shares of a gold mine. We quickly move into familiar territory as we meet the ruthless sales staff and are introduced to high pressure telemarketing. Covered many times before, "Prime Gig" lacks the poetry and dynamics of "Glengarry Glen Ross" and the glitz and energy of "Boiler Room." It's not badly done, it's just a paler imitation of more noteworthy movies.
Ultimately, as in movies of this type, there are no heroes. Everyone is pretty much a scumbag looking to make it rich. This film is a bit disingenuous, though, it wants to have it both ways. We're meant to care about Penny too. Hey, he's basically a good guy because he takes care of a handicapped friend. Well, that notion didn't particularly work for me. The movie moves toward the inevitable, predictable and still somewhat unconvincing ending.Read more ›
The film starts out with colorful, interesting characters played by Stephen Tobolowsky, George Wendt, Wallace Shawn, and Kathy Baker, but it jettisons them completely once Vaughn's Penny goes to work for Harris' Kelly Grant.
The performances by Vaughn, Cochrane, Harris, and Ormond are topnotch but the screenplay is pretty lackluster. First, the relationship between Penny and his childhood friend, Joel, is poorly developed. Why is Joel on crutches? Was he injured in an accident or is he handicapped? Why is Penny so devoted to his friend, who, quite frankly, is an immature loser and freeloader? Halfway through the film, Joel just seems to disappear. This character could have been completely cut out of the film, and it would not have made much of a difference. I give Cochrane credit for giving such an interesting performance despite the fact that his role is so woefully underwritten.
Also, it's pretty obvious that Kelly and Caitlin are up to no good and should not be trusted, and yet, Penny works for them anyway. He seems smarter than that. I thought this stretched the credibility of the film.
I also felt let down by the ending. It seemed too ambiguous. It left loose ends.
I would recommend this for rental. You would be better off buying a much better film about conmen, Glen Garry Glenn Ross.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
-----I recommend this Seller highly. Unfortunately, "The Prime Gig" was very well done Garbage. Read morePublished 12 months ago by James W. Milburn
An awesome movie for Vince Vaughn fans, fans of movies like Wall Street and Boiler Room, etc. Actually still use lines from this movie. The movie Boiler Room wanted to be!!!Published 15 months ago by James M. Patton
I know this movie didn't get great reviews by many but I really enjoyed it. I can't go into details but there are many funny and incredibly ironic twists. Read morePublished on January 28, 2014 by Bill White
I rented this in the late '90's and I thought it was riveting. I love the way Vince Vaughn thinks he is the prime hustler and so slick. Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by judy
Dvd is in excellent condition. It is exactly what I wantedPublished on June 17, 2013 by Sherri Swaggerty
Never heard of this 2001 con man film. Watched it recently on the Sundance Channel. The Prime Gig is better than Boiler Room, which I found glitzy yet empty, but miles from the... Read morePublished on December 4, 2012 by Jason Kirkfield