(Rating: 15, 138 mins) Written by Zen Terrelonge
Starring – Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner.
Podgy con artist Irving (Bale) and smitten lover Sydney (Adams) find their crooked ways catch them out when hot-headed but ambitious FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) enlists them to help him bust some big names in exchange for their freedom.
This doesn’t sit well with the lead swindler who is instantly suspicious of DiMaso, which creates massive tension between the already awkward trio – with Sydney playing referee.
The 1970s-based film has brilliant production values in terms of location and costume; Irv sports Frank Butcher-inspired tinted glasses and comb-over, while DiMaso favours a perm.
The trailer made this look as though it would be a sharp and rousing, fast-paced tale of deception, however, I struggled to maintain interest in the amateur stings – as did one gentleman who left with his partner after he became overwhelmed with a fit of yawns.
What could and should have been a surefire masterpiece took far too long to get going and even longer to end, which is disappointing considering the plot potential and talent on hand.
But speaking of talent, Bale and on-screen wife Lawrence – who isn’t really on screen for that long – are both outstanding and unrecognisable from their most prolific and heroic roles from The Dark Knight and The Hunger Games respectively.
On the other hand, the introduction of some characters left me wondering why as they seemed superfluous and unjustified.
I really wanted to like the film, but left checking my pockets to make sure my phone and wallet hadn’t been stolen as well as my time.
American Hustle is in cinemas now.