AMERICAN HUSTLE [2013] –FUTHER INTO THE ARCHIVES–

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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.