UK Release Date: 20 December 2013
North American Release Date: 20 December 2013
Genre: Crime Drama, Comedy
Director: David O. Russel
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence
An American tale of cops and robbers plays victim to the hustlers own brilliance in this blockbuster telling of the classic hustle.
David O. Russell has lined up a truly formidable cast combining the players behind his own smash-hit creations, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook to create a whole new beast. Grounded at the top of the 70’s and centred around the infamous FBI sting operation, ABSCAM, American Hustle delivers a field of secret temptations that burst from the sociopathic tendencies of each hustler who burns with the eagerness to be and have more.
The transformation of Bale, Adams, Cooper, Renner and Lawrence seems to have come so naturally to the group as they are engulfed in a world that can barely manage a microwave. Bale takes on the boldest makeover as lead grifter, Irving Rosenfeld, with his rounded belly and “rather elaborate” comb-over while the rest of the team also fall effortlessly into the eccentric hair styles and bizarre fashion choices.
Although the entire cast play at their very best throughout the film, Lawrence can’t help but steal each scene with her irrational excitement and character. As Rosenfeld’s bored stay-at-home wife, she can’t help but create a little fire (figuratively and literally) between the professionals. Described as the “Picasso of passive aggressive karate”, her blissful ignorance to the necessities of her surroundings is very entertaining and will make the audience wish she had more screen time.
If the film fails to maintain the attention of flailing spectators, the soundtrack will certainly hold their gaze. The confidence of Russell’s directing and song choice is uncanny and the actors seem to play well off of the cool vibes which create a rather tremendous atmosphere at each and every point in the movie.
Despite its slow burning plot line and often lacklustre scene structure, the cast hold it together with their darkest desires bursting from their pours. With an impressively dark and malicious cameo from Robert De Niro, the film proves to hold a few surprises up its sleeve.
At 138 minutes long, Hustle tingles with endless sexual tension between the players which has the audience craving for an explosion which nearly comes in the provocative disco scene between Adams and Coopers characters. The cast are as brilliant as they are mad and with the film littered with ceaseless scenes of relationship rivalry and an eagerness to have so much more, it’s a wonder how they all just don’t kill each other and be done with it.