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Guns, Girls, and Gambling – A Casino Inspired Movie

There are times when any actor gambles on the success of a movie they are asked to star in. This can truly be said, in more ways than one, of the 2012 movie Guns, Girls and Gambling starring Christian Slater. The story has a number of twists and turns, some expected, some not so much, but in the end, viewers agreed that they didn’t really expect the ending. But that’s getting ahead of things, isn’t it? Let’s look for a moment on how this movie was inspired by casinos in the United States, but especially those in the West.

The Casino Model Is True to Form

In recent years, players have been able to visit online casinos where they get free spins as a bonus for signing on and trying their hand at a game or two. Just like the movie is loosely modelled on casinos, so too is the online experience. Some casinos give you free tokens to play, and that is where online casinos and game rooms got their example as well.

Set in the Southwest, Guns, Girls and Gambling also takes place at an Indian casino and throughout the movie there is the constant tension between the terms “Indian” and “Native American.” The movie tends to make fun of the controversial uses of both terms and while some find this a bit offensive, it doesn’t appear that the writer meant any ill intent. It appears to be more of a treatise on the offence which people take, sometimes at the slightest provocation.

What Are the Odds?

Guns, Girls, and Gambling calls to mind the fact that life is full of twists and turns and sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to why things unfold the way they do. The movie begins with Christian Slater who just lost his girlfriend supposedly to another man, an attorney. You are led to believe that this other ‘man’ had more to offer than you did and so now, down on his luck, Slater stops at a desert casino to try his hand at poker. The casino he happens upon is running an Elvis impersonator contest and upon entry, he is given a costume to wear.

With little money and no prospects, John Smith (Slater) takes the costume and the action begins. With no hope of winning the prize, he sits at a table with other Elvis impersonators including a Midget Elvis, a Hispanic Elvis, an Asian Elvis, and an ‘authentic’ impersonator who is sure to win – and eventually does. Figuring he’d be luckier at cards than at love, John Smith is none too surprised to find that he is equally unlucky in both. During the game, he learns of the chief (casino owner) and his priceless Native American artefact, a war mask. Sadly, John Smith passes out and wakes up in the morning only to find that the priceless mask was stolen and it had to be one of the Elvis impersonators.

One Beautiful Blonde and the Girl Next Door

Here is where the plot thickens and takes on a few twists of its own! A beautiful blonde is central to the plot as she kills off the Elvises one at a time as a gun-wielding bombshell. When she gets to Slater, the girl next door (cute but much less sexy) saves our protagonist time after time and it isn’t until the very end that the girl next door is revealed as working with the Cowboy, who is the proverbial mob boss of the old West.

Our beautiful blonde turns out to be John Smith’s girlfriend who supposedly dumped him and they are in it together. And, here is where yet another unforeseen twist appears. It wasn’t a male lawyer she dumped John Smith for, and John Smith really isn’t John Smith but chose that as a Pocahontas reference to the hero of dubious repute. Like the original Smith, our John Smith turns out to be the villain after all, and that ‘deep sleep’ was a farce to cover his part in the theft.

Life’s a Gamble After All

In the end, it is revealed that this was a crime devised by Smith and the sexy blonde. The girl next door who saved Smith throughout turned out to be after the million-dollar mask as well and was only staying by Smith in the hopes that he was the thief or could lead them to the mask.

While you are led to believe throughout the entire film that Smith relied on her, it unfolds that he was, in fact, the originator of the heist and not really in need of her protection. This is just a brief synopsis leaving out many of the comical scenes that are openly mocking of society’s avoidance of anything potentially racial in nature. The mask is not recovered and although Smith and his blonde walk happily away with the money, the final twist reveals itself.

The mask is not destroyed as the plot would have you believe, but just well-hidden by the Elvis winner who ‘did’ steal the artifact. The blonde rides off into the sunset with her lawyer – a woman, and you are led to believe that Smith uncovers the mask to set up yet another mark in the end. Yes, like casinos, there’s always that bit of luck in the end!

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