Coded critique of the 'impurity' of Hollywood - incidentally, by a guy who made a joke about 'purity' in State and Main - doubling as a martial arts story: mixed martial arts instructor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) claims competition ruins the soul of the fighter (indie filmmaking), so he's content on staying in his dojo and teaching, but gets drawn into a complex plot involving con-men, debt and having to fight for money (commercial filmmaking). Eijofor's performance is excellent - no matter what the role, he always looks comfortable and is a strong and likeable force - and since I've always liked Tim Allen, it's nice to see him in a role in which his character is not from the North Pole. It's too bad these characters ended up in a plot that's nothing but a string of endless contrivances and features a true mess of an ending - in an effort to tie the pieces together, Mamet stretches the limits of plausibility.
Director: David Mamet
Year Released: 2008