New Films: Traveller (18)

Director: Jack Green Starring: Bill Paxton, Mark Wahlberg
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Indy Lifestyle Online
This low-key drama has potential, but it eventually fizzles out in a final half hour that reverts to violence where an intelligent screenwriter might have worked the action to a close with the same thoughtful consideration that characterises the rest of the film.

Bill Paxton is the con artist protected by his traveller's pedigree, who takes new boy Mark Wahlberg under his wing to teach him the tricks of the trade. But whereas everyone figures Wahlberg to be the loose cannon, it's Paxton who goes off the rails - by falling in love with a woman whom he's supposed to be conning.

Some of the scams have the seductive flavour of those in David Mamet's House of Games - only Mamet would never have had his characters put the proceeds from their most dangerous con trick towards a cute young girl's ear operation.

The performances are fine, especially the reliable Paxton, but the picture meanders and eventually throws up too many inconsistencies for you to give it the benefit of the doubt.

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