Boiler Room review

Anyone who's ever been cold-called by double glazing salesmen will appreciate this look at what happens on the other side of the phone. But have no fear - the world of Boiler Room is far more exciting than the average day for Sheila or Phil at SupaMega Glaze.

Let's get the tired old "it's a bit like Wall Street and Glengarry Glenn Ross" spiel out of the way. Yes, it pays homage to both, but Boiler Room is different enough to successfully stand on its own.

Thanks to a classy, accurate script and some powerhouse performances by rising stars Affleck, Diesel and Ribisi, Boiler Room spends the majority of its running time convincing that these are not just pretty-boy actors playing at stockbrokers. These are genuinely pressurised salesmen.

Our link to this world is Ribisi's everyman hero, struggling through his moral odyssey while fighting for acceptance not only from his colleagues but also from his judge father (Rifkin). His slack-jawed, sleepy-eyed charm guides us through the lingo and the basics, with the result that the exposition is easy to swallow rather than being clumsily shovelled down your throat.

He's certainly the star, but two smaller stars threaten to steal every scene they appear in. Vin Diesel, superb as the charismatic Chris, is all smooth tones and expert technique. And Ben Affleck, playing the hardnosed Jim Young, successfully welds his older, asshole persona (Mallrats) to his new-found, pleasant bloke-next-door (Forces Of Nature) to create a loveable monster.

So it's a shame it all has to end with a massive anticlimax, with the pressure-cooker plot building to an explosive ignition point and then just spluttering out with a quiet whimper. You'll be left wondering how all the personalities dealt with the finale's fallout and - more importantly - just where the hell that all-important final reel went to.

Boiler Room portrays the testosterone-flavoured soup of the trading floor superbly. It's fun to watch the dodgier-than-Del Boy dealings - but with the ending such a damp squib, you can't but leave the cinema feeling slightly cheated.

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