Sunday, 16 March 2014

Movie Review: American Hustle

Previous Review: The Beggar Hero
Next Review: Divergent

American Hustle is a loose retelling (as stated at the beginning of the film, “some of this actually happened.”) of the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s that led to a few bribery convictions which involved a U.S. senator, six members of the House of Representatives, a State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, and an inspector for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The story is about two con-artists, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who was forced to cooperate with an FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) to arrest 4 high-flying con artists so they can be pardoned from their crimes. However, what initially seems to be an operation that targets stolen property trafficking eventually lead to a huge, elaborate public corruption investigation, which goes out of control and involved the mafia as well.
Sounds interesting? It seems so, on paper. In film, to commit a con job normally requires heavy exposition, to explain the elaborate plan without failing to engage the audience along the way. The film failed at doing that.

Despite its unexpected plot twist, the film suffers heavily due to its pacing and length. It's overly long and filled with constant, ceaseless dialogue-heavy scenes, with literally no action to provide the thrill factor, which most general audience will find it to be boring. It's all talking, talking, and talking. Acting, acting, and acting. It goes on and on...The film drags too long until when something unusual happens (the point where the operation starts to go beyond control), it's a little too late as many would have lose interest by then (fortunately not me, but quite close though).
Most of the actors done their utmost best, delivering their award-worthy, charming performance to the film, which is mostly the reason why the film received such critical acclaim upon its release. But, don't believe the hype. This film was no better than any of the other Oscar award-nominated films of 2013.
The film does provide a few occasional laughs here and there, there's some witty dialogues delivered perfectly by actors on-screen, but that's it.
Overall, it's not a bad film, it's just not a solid entertainment and not nearly as much fun as you would expect it to be. It would certainly benefit the film if the director is willing to cut some of the unnecessary scenes in film.

Rating: 7/10

If you're interested, there are some information regarding the operation and the people involved, which can be found here:

  • How much of American Hustle actually happened?
  • Fact vs. Fiction in American Hustle?

Previous Review: The Beggar Hero
Next Review: Divergent

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