Thursday, January 22, 2015

Making money without scruples

A been-there-done-that aura limits Americons from the start. In taking aim at subprime lenders, Americons evokes memories of movies such as Boiler Room, Margin Call and The Wolf of Wall Street, but the movie is neither as good nor as entertaining its predecessors. Beau Martin Williams plays Jason Kelly, a former NFL player who's working as a doorman at a Los Angeles night spot when he meets Devin (Matt Funke). Devin offers to help Jason get rich quick and introduces him to a dubious endeavor, getting people into homes they can't afford, thus setting them up to go bust. Jason doesn't quite know how unethical he's being, so he arranges a home purchase deal for a former college teammate (Trai Byers). You don't need to be a financial wizard to know the deal will go bad. Director Theo Avgerinos makes the most of an attractive -- if unknown -- cast, although he spends too much time showing how hot-shot young men with money amuse themselves: drugs, gambling and generalized debauchery. Americons doesn't really break enough fresh ground for big-time impact. I don't know when the movie was conceived, but if it had arrived earlier, Americons might have had a better shot at capturing some attention.

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