American Gangster: Film #79 of Film 365

Saturday 24th September 2011

Director: Ridley Scott
Year: 2007
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin

This is the first movie I watched after returning from Canada. It was on TV on Saturday night, and sounded like an intriguing gangster movie, so I thought I'd give it a try.

In American Gangster Denzel Washington plays Frank Lucas, a drug smuggler in 1970s Manhattan. Russell Crowe is Richie Roberts, the honest cop who is trying to catch him. There's nothing really wrong with the (true) story of American Gangster - all the expected elements are there, even if they're not that surprising.

What I had a problem with is the casting. Denzel Washington has played the good guy so many times now that it's almost impossible to see him as the bad guy. And, well, he's just not that good at making it convincing. Now, if Russell Crowe or Chiwetel Ejiofor had been playing Frank, I would have been much happier. I know Crowe can play mean characters well, and Ejiofor was entirely convincing as Frank's brother. As it was, because I felt Washington had essentially been miscast I found American Gangster quite problematic, as Frank is a big part of the movie.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

No comments:

About Me

My photo
I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.