David O. Russell directs Christian Bale, John David Washington and Margot Robbie in this period conspiracy caper (based on some true historical events) where three unlikely soulmates try to clear their names and stop fascism in 1930s New York.
Margot Robbie is like a beacon of hope in this cold mess. I admire the enterprise, but the narrative is too formless and erratic to ever hook you in. You know exactly where this is headed early doors despite plenty of long ways round and misdirections but the plot has no internal drive. It really is just an endless parade of famous faces in interwar drag. A really stellar parade of names cropping up for cameos and bits but eventually the effect wears off and you realise the shaggy dog story ain’t got all that much to say. Which is ironic for such a talky film that doesn’t ever know when to keep schtum. There are neat moments, Bale is reaching for something ambitious in his deliberately abrasive lead performance that he doesn’t quite manage. You’ll leave the multiplex talking about Mike Myers and Taylor Swift. I had a real fear at times this was going to be I Heart Huckabees as a Coen Brothers pastiche. It never hits that low, but the pretension and unruly nature of Amsterdam does bust a very expensive gamble.
Perfect Double Bill: A Rage In Harlem (1991)
Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/