A 2002 film about a pool hustler named Johnny, once known as "The Sidepocket Kid", who decides to get out of the business after he learns that Joe, his manager, threw away his invitation to play in a professional pool league in order to keep making money off of him as a hustler. Unfortunately, it turns out he isn't any good at doing legitimate
work, and what's worse, his little brother Danny, something of a hustler himself, is set to get himself in a load of trouble with Joe when he gets in over his head.
This film contains examples of the following tropes:
- Big Damn Heroes: Arguably, more like Big Damn Villains, thanks to the Grey and Grey Morality in the film. It turns out that Chico has a desire to discuss debt repayment options with Joe. A discussion involving a shotgun.
- Briefcase Full of Money: Uncle Mike shows up with one.
- Catch Phrase: Johnny's "What, did I stutter?" line.
- Chekhov's Gun: The car that Johnny and Uncle Mike win in the upstairs pool game.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Uncle Mike and Chico.
- Christopher Walken: Playing Uncle Mike. And making a wicked awesome pool shot (as in, he really made the shot for the film.)
- Common Knowledge: Pretty much everything out of Max's mouth. The most typical response from his friends is to ask him Where do you get this shit?!
- Evil Lawyer Joke: Told by a lawyer, no less.
- Fetish Retardant: Invoked by Chris, as to him stuffed animals, tattoos, and choking are this.
- Final Boss Preview: Brad shows up in one of the first scenes of the movie, working for Chico. Chico wants him to play against Johnny when Johnny brashly ups the ante after finding out that Joe had thrown out his league invite. Brad declines because Johnny appears to have "a lot of personal shit" going on.
- Genre Savvy: Many of the characters, although a few end up falling victim to more-savvy characters, or realize only too late that they are Wrong Genre Savvy.
- Grey and Grey Morality: Basically the film is about pool sharks hustling each other for varying reasons.
- Hello, Attorney!: Hello Paralegal in the case of Johnny's girlfriend-slash-sugarmomma.
- Ironic Echo: Johnny's Catch Phrase gets repeated back to him by the end of the film.
What, did I stutter? A few seconds ago, it was like a poolhall up in this mutha-fucker, now it's as quiet as a church!
- Its Pronounced Tro PAY: There is a world of difference between saying someone is your nigga and saying that they are your nigger. Especially if you are one of two white guys in a room full of black gangsters.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Because at one point, he's not playing pool in a poolhall, so he has to change his catchphrase mid-sentence for it to make any sense.
- Oh Crap: Joe, when he realizes that Johnny's backer is a millionaire.
- N-Word Privileges: Johnny. Because he and Chico? They're Niggas.
- Promoted Fanboy: Averted in the prologue. Johnny gets an invite to the pro league. In fact, while the league is limited to 50 players, they are making an exception just so he can be #51 and play. Joe throws his invite in the trash without telling him about it. note
- Punch Clock Villain: Brad. Hustles Danny for an outrageous sum of money, and Johnny has to play him to make back the money his brother owes Joe. As soon as the game is concluded and Chico shows up with a shotgun and a grudge against Joe, Brad packs up his gear and departs, making small talk with Johnny on the way out the door.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Brad is only being paid to play pool. As soon as Joe pulls a gun and Chico intervenes Brad gives his farewells as he quickly packs up his gear and departs.
- Shown Their Work: The folks who made the movie are very good pool players, and none of the shots are faked (of course, they are set up, but they still had to make those shots for the camera)
Two Three Guys: Tang, Chris, and Max. Danny's three friends who deliver easily 90% of the movie's funniest (and least relevant) dialogue.
- The Trope Kid: Johnny, formerly known as the Sidepocket Kid.
- Uncle Pennybags: Uncle Mike, or as Joe calls him, "Daddy Warbucks". Mike seems to find the nickname amusing enough.
- Worthy Adversary: Brad. After their high-stakes game, he makes small talk with Johnny and even gives him some encouraging words.