Directed by David O. Russell, written by Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K. and Robert De Niro
I don’t get excited for movie releases. I’ve not allowed myself to, after so many disappointments. But seeing the trailer and reading about this movie caught my attention. Instantly I was looking forward to it. It looked like a Goodfellas style movie but with con men and politicians. It sounded interesting.
The problem with this analogy is that Goodfellas excelled in displaying family values, the brutality of man at the peak of greed and power, an amazing score, unforgettable camera-work; everything was there, perfectly executed.
The only thing this movie shares with Goodfellas is Di Niro.
The script seemed very under-written, as it was very cringe-worthy at times, very forced at others). The actors all looked like they weren’t really trying, with the exception of Jennifer Lawrence who, despite the idiotic online musings of her being miscast, was the only memorable, eccentric character that stole every scene she was in. Bale hid behind his disguise. Brad Cooper was Brad Cooper. I hadn’t seen the other lady before but nothing she did impressed me. In fact, with such idiotic lines, she excelled in propelling the implausibility of this movie. Since when do Americans ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over English royalty?! I also thought the director was a liiiittle too relaxed. Visually, this isn’t anything spectacular, and there isn’t really anything that makes the camera-work or directing/editing unique at all. In fact, the camera was so still, I needed to re-watch it to see if there were just a few interesting angles or moving shots.
And the story. Good God, the implausibility built up to a point where people were laughing at it. This film paints a very tainted version of real situations, such as the FBI ‘s disciniplary rules and regulstions, not to mention mobsters stupid enough to invest with someone they didn’t know and had zero reasons to trust, yet had reasons not to. Apart from the opening 30 minutes, it was all too much and snowballed into a giant, idiotic swine of a snowball that managed to pull you out of the movie with constant, overblown and impluasible plot twists.
As most will have heard, Robert Di Niro makes a one scene appearance, donning an absurd pair of glasses. His sudden appearance wasn’t only pointless, it again totally shattered that fourth wall, that illusion that I’m in this fictional world. Pair this up with the impossibility of almost everything that happens. Just terrible. I really tried to see the good when I went to see it the second time. But when Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t on-screen, all I could see was average acting, absent editing/directorial technique, a forced script and a story that slowly becomes more and more impossible/laughable as the long running time of the film drags on.
A big disappoint for me, as I was looking forward to this flick. The 70’s are easily my favourite decade for film. But it was so average, on so many levels, I can’t help but feel cheated. Especially when the trailer made it out to feel like something that it wasn’t remotely close to. the 70’s music, the 70’s wardrobe. They were perhaps the only things about this movie that they actually got right.
2.5/5 – Don’t be fooled.
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Was expecting a much lower score than 2.5! That’s a 50% but you sound like you were quite disappointed by American Hustle.
I was too. But I did actually think one thing O’Russell et al did well was convey these situations quite realistically. There was definitely a lot of suspending of disbelief going on, but I thought not so much to the point where it was distracting. Then again, that was me. I would give A.H. a 3 on your scale, I think.
I enjoyed the first half much more than the second. I also loved ‘J Law’, this is her best role IMO. But the second half was where I thought it started getting too complex for its own good, and like you said – distracting. One of the few great scenes was when Bale told the mayor that he was the one who conned him into it. But seriously, if a mexican dressed as if he is from Saudi Arabia suddenly grabs your 100% devoted trust then perhaps you desrve to get ripped off heh. I am often too generous with films, I like to try and see the good in everything I see.
50% is what I think. It wasn’t terrible but it was just plain average. The trailers to this one really threw me off.
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I thought this was a really fun movie, and aside from Lawrence, Amy Adams was really good as well. And, of course, Louis CK showing up in your movie will always make for some laughs. Good review; I understand the disappointment, but I can’t agree.
Yeah this one got mixed responses for sure. Amy Adams did an ok acting job but the fact that anyone would believe the con just because of the accent was… well kinda weak writing. Much like the Mexican shiek (sp) suddenly oozing royalty somehow. As for CK, I am his biggest stand up fan, but his role as a boss made no sense as Bradley Cooper punches him out, operates on his own accord completely and Louie just doesn’t look like anyone who would be in the FBI. And the joke he kept trying to tell.. It wasn’t even good at all. Compared to his stand up material it was immensly tame and I wouldn’t mind betting he didn’t even get to write it.
Thanks for reading/comment despite disagreeing =) I like to chat about film, and of course it is so often objective that you can have some great discussions about it
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Wow. This is a blast from the past as it seems you know who Amy Adams is now. For the record I like American Hustle quite a bit but each to their own. 🙂
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Heh, this was a review i wrote before I even started this blog! Its from imdb or something. I’d have to watch it again but I don’t remember liking it much.
I thought it tried too hard to be 70’s, and oddly enough J-Lawrence was the only one who entertained me throughout. It has been a while though!
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