Monday, November 12, 2007

American Gangster by Ironman Al

American Gangster
The weasel needs to write his reviews closer to the time he sees the
movie so they are actually correct. I'll try to fix the problems with
his review in my review.

So I went into the movie expecting a little more action than I got. The
movie was a typical drama length at 2:40ish. Denzel kills a unknown man
ruthlessly by setting him on fire and shooting him. Crowe's cop
character bashes into an apartment and beats the crap out of guy on what
appears to be a routine summons. I'm thinking to myself we're on the
way to a classic Scarface like movie. All of sudden it slows way down.
Denzel's mentor and head gangster of Harlem dies as he's preaching about
corporations. I guess it was trying to tell us how Denzel's new
approach to drugs was set into his mind. Denzel ends up going straight
to Thailand to retrieve pure heroin which turns a nice blue when a
reagent is applied hence his product's name Blue Magic. He starts his
drug operation just as Crowe is set to head up a new drug enforcement
agency in New Jersey.

There's tons of plot that happens and very little action over the next
part of the movie. We don't see any good action until Denzel shows his
brothers how he deals with his problems by shooting a rival gangster
point blank in the head in the middle of the day on the street. He gets
all of his younger brothers to help with distribution of his product.
He conducts himself as a CEO business man and tries to tell his brothers
not to be flashy and draw attention to himself. In a weakness for his
finance, he goes to see the Ali/Fraizer fight in a full fur coat and
hat. This is where he draws the attention of Crowe as his seats are
better than the head of the mob family. This one mistake is the start
of his undoing. He finds out that cops good and corrupt know who he is
and immediately burns his fur coat and hat.

Again, the movie moves slowly with the only violence being key to the
story. In other words, there is really no unnecessary violence in the
movie. It's all key pieces to the story. He gets pissed about the his
brother's driver shooting someone in the leg during a party with all
kinds of politicians and celebrities. He ends up beating the guy
intensely and telling everyone to leave. He tells his brother to fire
this driver but his brother doesn't listen. The driver is turned by the
Crowe and ends up being Lucas's undoing.

On Thanksgiving, he has to inform one of the key drug dealers about his
policy not to allow anyone to mess with his product. On the way back as
his brother is driving, the main crooked cop in the story pulls him
over. His brother is carrying a bunch of the product in the trunk which
subsequently gets taken by the cop. Denzel immediately beats the crap
out of his brother to show his displeasure.

At least at the end, we get a nice shootout as Crowe takes down a big
distribution center for Lucas's last drug shipment. This was pretty
much the highlight of violence. I thought the end of the movie with
Lucas's describing to Crowe the entire crooked cop hierarchy as a real
letdown. At least we got some real facts as the movie closed with Lucas
getting out of jail after 15 years in 1991.

All in all it was good movie but it could've been great.

by Ironman Al

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