Rated 3.0

An idealistic martial arts teacher (Chiwetel Ejofor) finds himself in a brief flirtation with the film business after he saves a movie star (Tim Allen) from a beat down. He soon finds out that movie guys are skunks, as are fickle wives who lust for money, and martial arts promoters looking to make a fast dime off of somebody else’s ideas. Writer-director David Mamet loses focus on occasion, perhaps stuffing his film with too many subplots. Still, the dialogue has that trademark Mamet cadence, and Ejofor is damned good as a man who won’t let his principles be shaken. Allen is good in a small role, getting a break from his funny man persona to really act. Mamet mainstays such as Rebecca Pidgeon, Ricky Jay and Joe Mantegna also show up in bit parts. The film doesn’t always work, but Mamet keeps things moving forward and the overall effect is satisfying.