The films of Scorsese cast a long shadow. Should a movie find itself set in a specific era, in a certain geographic location, with a particular set of story-telling devices (in this case, multiple narrators and a pitch perfect soundtrack), set against a crime-ridden backdrop, then no matter how hard you try, Scorsese is going to come to mind. Though writer/director David O. Russell may not have purposefully set out to mimic Marty, Christian Bale’s character aptly brings such thoughts to mind by saying: “Who is the real genius, the artist or the forger?” American Hustle may be lacking somewhat in originality, but it more than makes up for it elsewhere.
The complex but never confusing plot involves Christian Bale and Amy Adams as a duo of con-artists, who get nabbed by Bradley Cooper’s FBI agent and given an ultimatum: either help him capture a crooked mayor (Jeremy Renner), or go to jail for their crimes. So they go about helping the Feds, but soon realise that they’re in WAY over their heads once well-known politicians and powerful mobsters get involved. Then there’s the small matter that Adams may or may not be falling for Cooper, and Bale’s loose-cannon wife (Jennifer Lawrence) could bring down their very delicate house of cards at any moment.
The script is sharp and surprisingly very funny, with everyone given a real moment to shine. It's great watching Bale, Adams, Cooper and Lawrence all go at it, playing out exactly what happens when you put four Alpha personalities in the same room, with nobody being able to commit to anyone being in charge. Renner isn’t given a lot to do, and his character feels a tad undercooked, but we do get some nice supporting roles from the likes of the hilarious Louis C.K. and Robert De Niro at his most impressively menacing.
The story, loosely based on real events, is smartly and energetically told, with the only sticking point being a somewhat underwhelming ending that you’ll see coming before the characters involved do. Right up until that point, American Hustle is pure entertainment. If only all Scorsese imitations were this good.
Review by Rory Cashin | 13:14 | Friday 20th December 2013 | Movie Review
good script , good acting , digs deep into different characters and their emotions in the movie . 4 stars for surePosted 19:02 | Sat 4th Jan 2014
This is a well made film, set maybe in the eighties. The stars, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper play their part well. Amy Adams is brilliant.............what a great talent. I wonder if a con job, using con men, is a big enough story on which to base a major Hollywood film. I liked this film, was not disappointed, but was not bowled over.Posted 16:31 | Mon 6th Jan 2014
This could be called a caper movie given the elaborate ruse the characters engage in, with a few double crosses thrown in for good measure. The performances are top notch, especially from Amy Adams, at times she reminds me of Lady Macbeth. There is a superb sound score as well, which contributes to how well the period of the late 70s is evoked; Post-Watergate and Vietnam. Maybe I am becoming easier to please but I could swear there has been a run of excellent films for the last year or so and this film continues that trend.Posted 15:27 | Sun 12th Jan 2014
Don't know if you watched Casino but this is a poor attempt to pull off what was achieved there. The performances by the cast here are strong, very strong but the tale is poor and comes to an abrupt ending. The style and visuals are great but story just leaves the whole movie down. If you liked the style of this movie I would recommend Scoreses Casino as one to watch instead.Posted 12:06 | Wed 15th Jan 2014
Rubbish film. Waste of talent and pointless. When will people realise Robert de Niro is a one trick pony and stop giving him scripts?Posted 13:10 | Thu 30th Jan 2014
Not the worst film i have seen but the story could have been betterPosted 13:06 | Wed 5th Feb 2014
A film worth the wait and watch, Slow to start but then gets going. Pity there are not a lot of women with the same attitude of Amy Adams on this island. A proper right mans kinda woman!!Posted 10:13 | Thu 6th Feb 2014
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