Tremendous acting chops, a detailed and talented director, and 2 1/2 hours of numb-butt were all in full effect in this "mobsters for dummy's" flick. However, it seems that the exorbitant cost of paying Russell, Denzel, and Ridley to do the film left a lack of funds for the hair and make-up department. I counted at least 10 bad mustaches in the first hour of the film and then lost track to what I believe is the best "how-to" movie of the year.
Sure, the GODFATHER gave us a glimpse into the world of Italian mobsters and revenge, but this tour de force not only steals all that good stuff, it adds a primer on how to go from lackey to loaded! That's right kids, it's the man who can supply the purest form of addictive substances to their neighborhood walks away with the gold! Although this may sound like capitalism at it's best, the slightly twisted addition that heroin KILLS most of it's customers leaves a bit of a stopgap in their longevity. Instead of quietly suggesting they quit the needle cold turkey, Denzel hands out free turkeys to the the grateful demographic. So I suppose that's a bit of free promotion that not only keeps the town at his feet, but keeps the addicts inside with plenty of leftovers to snack on while stoned.
As an exclusive here on SisterCritics, I'm confessing that I'm going to switch careers and go into the entrepreneurial world of mobster-ing. Instead of drugs I will market heroin kits! Every great product needs accessories, and while the other guy is doing the dirty (and illegal) work of addicting the locals, I'll simply supply cute and crafty heroin roll up kits complete with the following:
A personalized needle - one can't be too safe these days with all that AIDS going around.
An adjustable thick rubber band - available in hundreds of designs and colors - try the popular "American Flag"!
A Williams Sonoma Silver Spoon - it's the extra long handle you'll appreciate next time you burn your fingers on those knock off spoons.
A cotton ball dispenser - the organic fibers collect more heroin juice than that "other" brand.
Zippo Lighter - engraving available
A pillow - for the after shoot up snooze
And probably much more after I really research what it takes to actually shoot up heroin - all of this coming from a gal who re-reads the Advil bottle 15 times before taking one.
Sorry everyone, I got a little carried away with my new business plan, but I'd better keep tight lipped on this idea - it's money in the bank. So what did I think of the movie?
Although I agree that both actors can read the phonebook and I'd still pay $15 bucks to see them, it might have been nice to see them acting in the same scene together for more than 5 minutes. Not only is it abominable that the GODFATHER church scene killing montage is "borrowed" for AG's climax, it's the only 10 minute montage that has these guys sharing some celluloid. Some of the most interesting aspects of Denzel's character come out in the final moments, but let's just toss those aside and get to the part where he takes down the big bad NYPD. Sigh. Great performances, tacky mustaches, twisted POV/message, all of which pretty much make it a shoe-in for an Oscar nom.
So run out and see AMERICAN GANGSTER soon as most people already believe it's the best movie of the year and not even Russell Crowe's Joe Don Baker hairstyle can deter them.