Yo yo ladies and gents, time to FINALLY review American Hustle! I know this review is a lot later than I anticipated, but for the longest time I put off watching this film even though I really wanted to see it as soon as it came out. But after all the faffing around I saw it at the cinema and I’m ready yo give my thoughts.
The story is loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early ’80s, where two con artists who are forced by an FBI agent to set up an elaborate sting operation on corrupt politicians, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey.
I thought the story was decent but not as good as I thought it’d be. It started out well and had a non-linear style of storytelling (a form of storytelling that I think loads of films are taking on these days) and from there we’re introduced to characters and plot elements and see how some of these individual stories eventually tie into each other. At its core the films about people conning each other. Lies and deceit is the name of the game. Normally I’m really into this kind of story in film stories, but in this film into gets a bit to convoluted for my liking and takes a bit too long for actions to play out. I actually looked at the time on my phone and that RARELY happens. by the time the film ended I just felt average and that’s massive difference from the joyful feeling I felt when I left Silver Linings Playbook.
It’s really the cast that make the film for me as they bring these characters to life and make them worth caring about. Let’s start with Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld. I’ve heard people talk shit about Bale and some say he can’t act, well to them I say bullshit! I swear he’s like a frigging chameleon and goes to highest efforts to fit into his roles and that is clearly apparent here as he’s fat, corrupt, in love, but also got emotional issues to deal with involving is former and current love interests and his connect to the mayor. I thought Bale’s performance was great. Bradley Cooper as FBI Agent Richard “Richie” DiMaso was pretty great too, I’ve definitely become more a Bradley Cooper fan over the last 2 years and in this film he’s great as this FBI guy who strives for success and loves to be control and freaks out when he isn’t. Seeing Cooper lose his cool and go mental was wonderful and he does aggression very well. Amy Adams as Sydney Prosser / Lady Edith Greensly was pretty good. There was something incredibly alluring about her (it was probably those revealing outfits), I liked her backstory and her chemistry with Bale was great. The only thing iffy about her was the accent which was sometimes good and at other points very questionable. While not Adams’ best role, she was still really good.
Jeremy Renner as Mayor Carmine Polito was actually my favourite character purely because he was practically the most innocent member of the main cast, he was just a nice guy, loved by all, trying to do right by the people of his city but got caught up this world of lies and corruption. Renner is an actor who is always up and down for me in films, he’s a good actor, no doubt about it, but sometimes his roles can make him come across as a bit flat. In this film I loved him, just his charisma, the accent his hair, everything was just nice and I think this is my favourite role I’ve seen him in. And then there’s Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, I’m gonna get this out there first, I really disliked her character. So annoying, unbearable and it doesn’t that I’ve known people like that so when people get annoyed in the film by her actions I can sympathise. That being said Lawrence turned in another good performance with some funny scenes and she continues to do no wrong in the world of film.
Other people I feel I should mention is my two men from Boardwalk Empire; Jack Huston (Richard Harrow) as Pete Musane and Shea Whigham (Eli Thompson) as Carl Elway. Huston was great and had a really interesting, subtle and yet aggressive part to play and Whigham’s character was really funky-looking and definitely a different kind of role for him but was really enjoyable.
In conclusion American Hustle is a good film but nowhere near as good as some critics and other people are making it out to be. The amazing performances from the cast is what really sells the film and makes it worth watching. The word that comes to mind is “disappointed” and while I can still recommend this film, I can’t say that I walked out of the film loving it the way I wanted to.
Rating: 7/10 (A good film only elevated by the incredible of the cast)
So what did you think of American Hustle? Were you in love with it or did you think like me that it wasn’t as amazing as some have made it out to be? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, I’ll catch ya later! 😀