Writer: Richard Price (Screenplay) Walter Tevis (Novel)
Starring: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver, John Turturro, Bill Cobbs, Forest Whitaker
Plot: Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.
Tagline – The Hustler isn’t what he used to be, but he has the next best thing. A kid who is.
Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Smart Sequel
Story: The Colour of Money starts when cocky young pool player Vincent Lauria (Cruise) arrives in Fast Eddie Felson (Newman) bar hustling pool against his best player Julian (Turturro). Eddie takes a shine to Vincent and talks his girlfriend Carmen (Mastrantonio) into going on the road to hustle teaching him the ropes.
As Eddie and Carmen try to control Vincent, Eddie learns that Vincent’s flare will keep taking over as he constantly wants to show off, the game has changed too, but this does give Eddie the desire to make a comeback.
Thoughts on The Colour of Money
Characters – Fast Eddie Felson is now out of the pool game and moved onto the liquor business, when he see Vincent in a bar he wants to take him under his wing and show him the art of the hustle, he is strict with his instructions and gets dreams of a comeback one day, to a life he walked away. Vincent Lauria is the hot shot young pool player that shines in the 9-ball game, he is overly confident and doesn’t follow instructions given to him with his own decisions being his downfall at making the big money early on. Carmen is the girlfriend of Vincent, she understands the rules of the hustle and needs to learn to control Vincent to achieve the highest return on the investments.
Performances – Paul Newman returns to the character of Fast Eddie Felson, he returns with a bang and shines from the opening scene to the closing as we see his character go through retirement to getting obsessed with a game that nearly ruined his life. Tom Cruise is great as the overly confident player, we see that he is going to be a big star with this role. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is great too, we see how the she can control her player and stand up and be counted in the mostly male world.
Story – The story follows the return to Fast Eddie Felson, a man we met in The Hustler, we see how he is out of the game now and still making money in his field as a salesman. We see how he sees potential in a new player to help him get back on the road and hustle again, maybe not the playing side, but the investing side. We get to focus on a veteran returning to the sport he loved to prove he is still the best, proving at any age you can return to the sport you love. Seeing how the game has changed from the straight pool style we knew to the 9-ball is the biggest change.
Sports – The table is the same, the game has changed, the pool is now 9-ball a faster version of pool, one that is a lot harder to hustle in because of the increased lucky involved at times, this doesn’t get addressed enough for me because I know how this game can play out and I will admit there is skill involved, this isn’t as skilful as the straight pool we saw in the first film.
Settings – The film shows us the different styles of pool halls where Eddie tries to teach Vincent, we get the feeling everyone is a local in the hall too.
Final Thoughts – This is a great sequel to one of the best films of all time, Paul Newman showed us all that he will always be one of the coolest and best actors we ever had, while Cruise makes the big impact.
Overall: Strikes the right buttons all game long.