Reviewer's grade: C-

It's an obvious title for an obvious story about a man who is compulsive about winning the World Series of Poker because his father has already won it twice and he's got this Freudian thing going with Dad. What does he need in order to break this chain? I know. How about the love of a good woman?


The charm-challenged Eric Bana stars as Huck, the compulsive father-hating gambler, Drew Barrymore is the sweet kid from out of town, and Robert Duvall, who can play these uncomplicated characters in a coma, is the father who isn't near as bad as Huck thinks he is.


In greater or lesser cameos "? none of them significant "? are Robert Downey Jr., Debra Messing, Charles Martin Smith, Jean Smart and about a dozen real poker players from the pro circuit. Director Curtis Hanson has delivered a movie that's not terrible; it's just static and predictable. You'll be able to rent it for a dollar soon, and that price is about right. PG-13


"?Doug Bentin


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