Tuesday, 22 July 2014

American Hustle

Lowdown: A sting operation movie with an agenda of mocking the seventies.
How far can a movie go when its agenda seems to be nothing else than make a mockery of a certain period? Well, if you ask American Hustle, the answer is two hours and a quarter. Whether you're up for the mileage is another thing. I wasn't.
Set in the seventies, with brownish/reddish hues on everything to cover for you in case you missed the date setting caption, American Hustle is your average sting movie. Irving (Christian Bale) is a man with a bit of money who joins forces with Sydney (Amy Adams) to make proper money by cheating people in distress out of theirs. Irving's marriage to Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) does not interrupt him from pursuing further interests with Sydney, either. Alas, federal agent Richie (Bradley Cooper) catches up with the pair, and now - if they want to avoid government funded hospitality - they have to aid him catch a big prize. In their case, that big prize comes in the shape of a politician (Jeremy Renner) aspiring to get jobs for New Jersey residents by reviving the state's gambling scene.
Let's cut to the chase. In my opinion, there isn't enough original stuff here to fill much more than two hours with. The sting is nothing we haven't seen before. However, what we definitely haven't seen before is a fat/bold Batman (Bale), or a Renner with a "classic" hairdo, or a Bradley Cooper living with his mother and wearing hair rolls, or a Robert Di Nero made to look particularly ugly. I also don't recall Amy Adams' boobs hanging out as often as they do here.
In other words, American Hustle is not about the hustle; it is rather about taking A list stars and making them look like the exact opposite of A list stars under the guise of the seventies. I can see it working on a shorter, more intense film; but over the length of American Hustle I simply grew bored.
Best scene: Irving's family receives the latest technology, the Science Oven. You might have heard of it being referred to as a microwave oven.
Overall: I seem to be with the minority opinion on American Hustle. I was disappointed; 2 out of 5 crabs from me.

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