Casino is a film about Las Vegas being a sentient life form that eats Italian Americans. Robert De Niro heroically jumps into its mouth, thinking he can conquer it from the inside by speaking very sternly, but he’s disrupted by a funny talking dwarf and a crack whore.
Clearly a metaphor for the underbelly of the gambling world, De Niro’s attempts to tame the Las Vegas creature see him steer its body by pulling on its intestines. In one scene, he has to deal with its chronic case of irritable bowel syndrome, which is obviously meant to depict the nuisance of people who cheat at blackjack.
His success in soothing the beast’s stomach is yet another figurative statement, this time illustrating the rise of online gambling and how it is now much harder to cheat. But then the dwarf pours laxatives down its throat and the characters must prepare themselves for a monumental liquid shit.
De Niro was sent to defeat Las Vegas by a kingdom of sweaty plumbers, but when they learn he has grown quite fond of the creature, nestling into its diaphragm like it’s a sodden beanbag, they start to grow concerned. Meanwhile, De Niro’s crack whore wife is making matters worse by fondling the behemoth’s genitals and getting caught in the act by the paparazzi. All of which has a detrimental effect on the squinty actor’s ability to look as hard and competent as he did in The Godfather Part 2.
Casino cleverly plays on our perception of the way Las Vegas works, namely by ingesting the cast of every mobster film ever made. It demonstrates how such people momentarily take control – cockily strutting around and murdering anyone who declines their offer of cannelloni – only to be shat out as a bloody, sulphuric stool.
Supposedly, this is based on a true story, which is extremely hard to believe because there aren’t many realities where Joe Pesci could engage in coitus with Sharon Stone. Not old Sharon Stone, either. Basic Instinct, scissor leg, ping pong ball-popping Sharon Stone. Yeah.