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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2324)

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American Hustle 
"American Hustle" by Yojimbo
3/4 stars

A pair of con artists are blackmailed into helping the FBI entrap corrupt politicians or face jail. David O. Russell's long con comedy drama was very well received upon its release and fans of Martin Scorsese will no doubt see his influence throughout the film. It has the flavour of a PG rated version of Casino as these amoral hustlers try to out manoeuvre each other while staying one step ahead of the organised criminals they are charged with duping. Its light-hearted tone makes for a few amusing moments, often revolving around Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence's car crash of a marriage and the general level of ineptitude displayed by this cut price Ocean's crew. But one thing the story didn't seem to have is any kind of narrative momentum. It just seemed to be a loose collection of characters heading in the same general direction towards an ill-defined goal dressed up in Boogie Nights' wardrobe. The cast are all fine and it is consistently entertaining but there seems little meat on what is little more than an insubstantial con job with an inevitable who's conning who twist. In the end this fun but flimsy film feels like it could've been so much more in the skilled hands of Scorsese himself rather than a pretender to the crown.


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