American Hustle is the latest film from hit director David O. Russell, with an all star cast including; Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner.
They launch an ongoing scam together, in which Sydney pretends to be a British Aristocrat named Lady Edith Greensly, who has banking contacts in Europe. They target depressed people in order to get a $5000 dollar investment fee to get a larger amount in return. Here lies one of the first problems in the film, I found that for a con movie, the cons were painfully transparent and just difficult to buy into. You would expect in a con movie for there to be at least a few twists. But you could also make the argument that American Hustle, originally entitled American Bullsh** isn’t as much about the hustle, as it is about the BS.
After getting caught by FBI Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) in their scam, he forces them to cooperate in a larger operation in which they must act as bait for the mob and political whales. I won’t spoil the rest of the movie for you, but the rest of the film is about how they are going to entrap the mob and political whales, and the insanity that ensues, including some pretty funny moments from Roselyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence).
The plot of American Hustle is pretty entertaining throughout, although there are a few plot holes and characters that disappear for no reason whatsoever. For example the mob boss, played by Robert Deniro, comes into the film and adds a new element of danger to the movie and then he is completely forgotten and never mentioned again. I feel that his role was just to be a nice cameo by Deniro and nothing more.
The performances of American Hustle were obviously the greatest part of the film. With fantastic performances from Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and especially Jeremy Renner who doesn’t get enough credit for his role. I feel that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence didn’t really give Oscar worthy performances, but they were still great.
All in all, American Hustle is one of those movies that I really wanted to love, but I just couldn’t bring myself to it, I can only say that I liked it. Ultimately, the story lacks the emotional punch necessary to elevate it to something that you will remember for a long time. But there is still plenty of depth to this film with the message that the American Dream is something that can be BS. It won’t blow your socks off but American Hustle is a movie worth seeing.