Film review: American Hustle 'abysmal'

Last updated 05:00 20/01/2014
Bradley Cooper

HUSTLERS: Bradley Cooper, as Richie Dimaso, and Christian Bale's Irving Rosenfeld in American Hustle.

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American Hustle? American snoozefest more like.

The main problem with David Russell's meandering geriatric caper isn't the acting, the plot or the cinematography, which are all adequate.

The problem is, the con is so boring you end up falling asleep half way through the card trick.

The caper is about con man Irving Rosenfeld and his cunning British partner Sydney Prosser who are forced to work for a disco-loving FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, when their scam is busted.

I have tried to finish this movie twice, and I still haven't seen the ending. I ended up cutting my four-month-long toenails instead.

This is a movie that needs an adrenaline shot in the heart, and a scythe to its bloated carcass in order to resurrect its diseased remnants.

Even the outstanding Christian Bale can't save this turkey. Take it out of the oven, it's baked into coal.

What I can't understand are critics who think this movie is a genuine masterpiece. My best guess is that American critics view this movie as Hollywood's legitimate attempt at European art-house cinema, without subtitles.

It fails.

What Hollywood does well is brash, fast, exciting movies, with amazing special effects. What is does not do is art-house.

When there are at least several other movies which are far more deserving of your hard-earned cash, for example, The Wolf of Wall Street, then you owe it to yourself to avoid this abysmal decadence.

The con is on, but you don't have to play the game. Avoid this disaster.

*Editor's note: Derek saw this movie online in advance of it being screened in New Zealand.

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