“American Gangster” Stale and Heartless

Genres: Drama, Thriller, Crime/Gangster and Biopic
Running Time:
2 hrs. 37 min.
Release Date:
November 2nd, 2007 (wide)
MPAA Rating:
R for violence, pervasive drug content and language, nudity and sexuality.
Distributors: Universal Pictures Distribution

Directed by: Ridley Scott

JJ Rating: B-

A gopher is with his boss when he dies and then he works his way into being the replacement for the boss. A cop is a golden cop who doesn’t take money that isn’t his and turns it in. Because he’s such a goodie-goodie cop other cops don’t like him. This cop goes after the gopher turn boss….all based on a true story. American Gangster.

It was a loooooooooooooooooong story that did one thing well….drag out fact after fact after fact after fact. Not once in this movie did heart decide to come out and play a part. I was watching and not caring about what happens to anyone except this bad cop. I wanted him to die because he’s the type of person no one would ever miss if he were gone. He was a loud do it my way type of guy but I’m sure no one would have missed that idiot, which means that that actor did a great job because he annoyed the living hell out of me. But I don’t care about good acting right about now. I’m sick of being fed this crap stories by people who think they are presenting good stuff. It’s not good. This movie will fool people into believing that Hollywood finally got a good one out there but that is the problem….they had to be fooled. There has been so much crap that falls out of the backend of Hollywood that when something smells better than crap people clamor and think OOOH YEAH…when it’s not that great.

It could very well be that I’m not into gangster movies. That’s most likely ture. I don’t really like them because they have characters that think they are so smart and above the law with their witless justification that I feel I have to be dumbed down in order to understand their way of not thinking. Also their characters are poorly developed and I tend not to care about anyone in the movie. So when someone dies I’m like…so?

In American Gangster there was a good 30 minutes that could have been cut out and the movie would still be TOO long. There was a bunch of stuff that surely did not matter and added nothing to the story because they did it poorly. That would be every single scene that was to give Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington’s characters heart. There was Washington’s family and Crowe’s son. They were in the movie but the heart that they were supposed to gift did not happen. I did not feel as if either were astounding humans enough to care about their wellbeing.

What was good? So much complaining why a B- if it was that horrible? Well it wasn’t horrible, horrible. It had some good scenes in it that were spaced out between the horrible scenes. Washington and Crowe did not have a scene together until the last 20 minutes of the movie (I believe). That means there’s 2 hours and 10 minutes of them being nowhere near one another. I know it’s based on a true story but if they are going to separate the two main characters for that long at least give them something good to act in…something that has substance. That one scene they have together was a good one. It was my favorite part of the entire movie. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was worth sitting through the 2+ hours to see it but it was good.

There were families that came into that theater with kids under the age of 5. One of them sat on my aisle at the end. The child even decided to move, during the movie, to sit right next to me and stare at me. I was weirded out by a 4 year old sitting next time in a rated R movie. I was even more disturbed by the fact the father decided to scream swear words at the screen with the child there. And people wonder why their kids grow up to be demons from hell. These people must honestly believe they are good parents. HA…

American Gangster had a poor way of telling a story that was stale and heartless. I’m sure people who like gangster movies will like this one alright. If you don’t like such movies avoid this one it won’t make you change your mind about such a genera. I thought of giving it a chance and I sure shouldn’t have bothered because a stainless steel heart shimmered and shined through this entire film.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've just left the theater and I won't add much to what you've already said. You've said it simply and you've said it very well. However, you are kind to give this movie a B-. I'd call it a C/C- at best--which is to say it is mediocre. And, considering the talent and the money involved in the production, I might as well say the movie earned an F, in my book. The actors do a competent job, of course. The writing is terrible--it lack any kind of real story energy. The editing, well, let's say the editing is a hack job. I'm sure the movie will do a lot of business at the box-office and subsequent video rentals.

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