Film Review: American Hustle

American Hustle
American Hustle is on a similar par with other Hustle type shows, those who have seen the BBC series and the Real Hustle programs will be familiar with the plots. What’s different about this one is the set up of the characters. Also it’s based on a real life operation.

Christian Bale (Batman), Jeremy Renner (Avengers), Amy Adams (The Vow), Bradley Cooper (A Team) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) star in the story.

The basic plot stars out okay, Irving Rosen field (Bale) and Sydney Posser (Adams) are working together doing scams. The complications arise when FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) catches them and then wants to use them in a scheme to get a corrupt mayor (Renner).

The wheeling and dealing that arose to get a money transfer were good but predictable. Befriending the mayor was obvious. Alessandro Nivola (Billy from Jurassic Park III) turns up as Richie’s boss’s boss and is seemingly unconcerned with overspending to catch the mayor. Price was no object. What a rare quality in a big boss.

I just found this film very different in tone to the other hustle programs. Too many characters (wives, sheikhs, sons, mayors). There was no cleverness, no bright spark. What purpose did Jennifer Lawrence’s character actually serve? No, the real reason. Yes she cavorted about in all manner of pretty attire but that’s not really a part. If Irving is supposed to a great swindler then he should be able to get his son off her.

Also the relationship between Irving and Posser was creepy. It was akin to watching your mom and dad get cosy. Ewww! I had to close my eyes at times.

The mayor walks out, the mayor walks back in. Rosalyn (Lawrence) doesn’t want to divorce Irving, then Rosalyn does want to divorce Irving. Richie’s boss (Louis CK) going up the wall, Richie’s boss comes down from the wall.

Even when the plots change such as Richie putting another guy in the role of a Sheikh that Irving used to lure the mayor, does not help. Things move again when a crime overlord appears (Robert DeNiro), and wants the Sheikh to be an American!

And from their Irving thinks things are going mad. Er, thinks going mad? Thinks?! It IS going mad. Far too many subplots and characters drifting in and out, making if very difficult to follow. Irving and Carmine are friends, then Irving and Carmine are NOT friends. This is plain daft. It makes me wonder if any of the production team watched an episode of Hustle? Outstanding plots, clever double crosses. Research is vital and there was little point of launching a film with the word Hustle in it, if you’re going to do something else.

It was an ambitious venture, with many big names to boast – sadly the I found script unmoving. It just wasn’t a hustle movie for me. The cast made this movie. So go see it for them, plus Bradley Cooper’s perm! But there wasn’t any difference for me than any other action movie.

If I was marking this from the script it would’ve been a 4! But I’ve decided my score reflect the acting from the team, as they were very good – 7/10 from me.

Image reproduced from
Trailer reproduced from LimboIsland