American Hustle was a lot of fun. The hair, the clothes, the performances … the hair. It’s worth the two hours just to see Christian Bale’s Irving Rosenfeld put on his rug.
But as a whole movie … there was something lacking. To me, it felt a little predictable. I knew Irving and Sydney (Amy Adams) were going to walk away unscathed. I’m not saying I knew how they were going to pull it off, but there was an air of inevitability to the proceedings. It doesn’t take away from all of the wonderful things David O. Russell and his cast and crew did here, but it left me with an empty feeling as I kept waiting to get sucked in deeper. I prefer a lot of Russell’s earlier catalogue – Flirting With Disaster, Spanking the Monkey, Three Kings – when compared to Hustle. There’s a freshness and unpredictability to each of those offerings that American Hustle just doesn’t have.
That said, you could do a lot worse than American Hustle. Bale, Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and others all bring their A game. The film looks great – lighting, settings, clothes, makeup, etc. – and the soundtrack is pretty cool, as well.