Sunday, January 12 2014, 03:31 PM MST
Movie Review: American Hustle
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence
Genre: Crime, Drama
Recommended To: those looking for a decent Martin Scorsese film made by someone other than Martin Scorsese.
Synopsis: Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) has made a living off being a low-level con. When an overly ambitious FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), threatens to shut Rosenfeld down hes forced into big-time mafia territory and all the dangers comes with it.
Review: Certain critics have put director David O. Russell's American Hustle on such a high platform it was hard not to be disappointed by the film. Hype generates excitement and high expectations and when a film. Despite being quite good, fails to live up to its reputation that disappointment can be a very bitter pill to swallow.
Following the success of The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook Russell is poised for brilliance, but American Hustle isn't his masterpiece as it plays up the comedic aspects of the story while undercutting any sense of tension or real drama. Its an entertaining film, but ultimately it doesn't feel nearly as smart as it should and this has little to do with Russell's script, which was co-written by Eric Singer (The International). The blame falls somewhere in the presentation as Christian Bales Robert DeNiro impression comes up short and Bradley Cooper runs slightly amuck as the not-so-clever DiMaso. The result is a film that never feels as dangerous as it should. Its just a touch too silly to build any sort of tension. However, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence are fantastic and the art design, costumes and cinematography deserve high praise. The film, which seemed like a lock for a top five of 2013 ranking, wasnt quite what I was hoping for, but its still an entertaining escape into the underbelly of a yet-to-be-revitalized Atlantic City set against the sleazy style of the 1970s.
-Ryan Michael Painter