Sunday, November 04, 2007

American Gangster: A Movie Review

So I went to see American Gangster yesterday. I loved it. I've had some debates over this movie with a few people. Some thought great, others thought over-hyped, and another said he expected a bit more from it, given the story. What can I say. But my reasons for loving it are pretty simple. I thought the cast was stellar. Other than the big cahunas, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, I've long admired and followed the works of John Ortiz (villian of Miami Vice) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things and Naija brother) whom I've blogged about before. Given Denzel's versatile talent, I haven't, however, liked him in much lately. I didn't much enjoy Manchurian Candidate, I loathed Training Day, which he won an Oscar for, and I didn't bother to watch Deja Vu. But in this flick, I really do think he extended himself and was at his best here, portraying and humanizing the character of Frank Lucas. He trully made it his own. The other major thing that had me going was the lesson in economics, business strategy and supply chain management that I got from this movie. It fed my fascination for stories of enterprising and formidable individuals across different genres of life. Like Roger Ebert said in his review, if you take out the heroin element, this would otherwise have made a great business case for business school learning, entrepreneurs and business professionals alike. Brilliant I thought.
I think I've given enough spoilers to it. Saymama gives American Gangster 4 1/2 stars out of 5. I highly recommend. Go and watch it. It's out in London on November 16th and hopefully will hit the theatres in Lagos soon too.


jermain warner said...

enjoyed the review. i saw the movie. i did think it was all that. frank lucas was not the complicated villain that we have come to be expect in the movies. However, Denzel gave his best and it was good.

Onibudo said...

Ah Found your blog . It is quite tasteful. I watched American gangster and of course came out with a reinforcement of the fear of the Black Male as an authority figure. Yes Frank Lucas was not complicated but he was complex and understated character. It has been quite interesting that critics have focused on the fact the film glorifies a ' bad man' . I liked the understated acting, the ambivalence of power and the politics of the film. It is one of the few stories this year that does not hide behind the fantasy of special effects.

patrick said...

American Gangster reminds me yet again what a versatile actor Russel Crowe is… plus Ridley Scott deftly leads us into loving the bad guy and disliking the good guy only to flip that around by the end of the movie... very clever.