As the first person in his family to attend college, Eric (Brad Rowe) is understandably devastated when he loses a scholarship that's sponsored by policeman-cum-mentor Oliver Franklin (William Mesnick). After dabbling in pool hustling, tuition-deficient Eric gives into the blandishments of his larcenous roommate, Cornelius (Seth Green), and the duo promptly swindle their college out of athletic funds. Boosted by this criminal success, they form an alliance with Alex Tali (Stanley Kamel), a gangster who hires them as messengers for Rosewood (Ray Dooley), his double-dealing accountant. Eric finds himself falling for Tali's estranged daughter, Londyn (Zoe McLellan), while her father puts increasing pressure on Eric and Cornelius to steal blackmail-worthy data from Rosewood. Because the police already have Tali under surveillance, Detective Franklin quickly learns of Eric's involvement in this bush-league criminal enterprise and urges him to snitch on Tali. After Rosewood is expunged and Cornelius apparently perishes in an explosion, Tali's superiors come to town for a pow-wow about the Rosewood info. Can Eric rescue a kidnapped Londyn from her father's Mafia overseers? Unlike such lame recent teen-oriented thrillers as THE IN CROWD and GOSSIP, this surprise package boasts a serpentine build-up akin to that eighties noir classic, BODY HEAT. No one's what he seems, and as the cons overlap and the double-crosses dovetail, even mystery mavens will be hard-pressed to figure out the full implications of each criminal deception. On the negative side, the quick-switches and reversals of fortune do grow a bit incredible by fade-out, and Rowe doesn't have enough range as an actor to carry chunks of the movie with his voiceover narration. Still, this tricky puzzler insults no one's intelligence and doesn't feature all the usual suspects.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: As the first person in his family to attend college, Eric (Brad Rowe) is understandably devastated when he loses a scholarship that's sponsored by policeman-cum-mentor Oliver Franklin (William Mesnick). After dabbling in pool hustling, tuition-deficient Er… (more)