It’s honestly been so long since I’ve seen The Hustler that I don’t remember the details all that well, but I don’t think it really mattered going into this much-later sequel. Now Fast Eddie Felson (Newman) is retired from the pool circuit, instead doing very well as a liquor salesman. But when he meets Vincent (Tom Cruise), a hot-shot young player, Eddie takes him under his wing to teach him the hustling game.
I’ve always thought it was interesting that Martin Scorsese chose to make a 25-years-later sequel to a pool hustling movie, and the movie doesn’t particularly scream “Scorsese” stylistically, but I can see the appeal. It’s men doing men things in a vaguely gangster-like setting, where honor and money compete for men’s souls. However, though I often find that “men doing men things” movies don’t appeal to me these days, I found a lot to appreciate about The Color of Money.