Where is the transcendent theme or “lift” element in George Hickenlooper‘s Casino Jack, a drama about oily wheeler-dealer Jack Abramoff (Kevin Spacey)? What I mean is that a film about a scumbag has to do more than say “what a scumbag!” I could answer my own question since I have a copy of Norman Snider’s script, but I’ve been too much of a lazy-ass to read it.

Some light has been shed by George Rush & Joanna Molloy, who’ve read the script. But all they’re saying is that “some of its real-life characters” — George Bush, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, former U.S. Congressman Bob Ney — “have cause for concern.” In other words, scumbag plural.

What I want and expect from this film — especially with the sardonic Spacey in the lead — is perverse black comedy.