Sunday, November 18, 2007
American Gangster is the latest film from director Ridley Scott (GI Jane, Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, and many more) and screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Schindler's List, Gangs of New York, etc) and it tells the true stories of Frank Lucas and Richie Roberts. The former is an African American from North Carolina who is trying to define and establish himself as a gangster/drug dealer in New York. Across the river in New Jersey is Richie Roberts, a man who too is trying to define and establish himself, but as a cop and, eventually he hopes, a lawyer. Both men face numerous odds and work tirelessly to stick true to what they believe and be the best damn gangster/cop in town. This leads Lucas to the very top of the drug food chain (his net worth in the 70's was hundreds of millions) and Roberts to being picked to form the first DEA office in Jersey. This means Lucas soon becomes Roberts primary target. It's a very good watch, and has some fantastic performances by all involved. It's very good, but it's not great. At times it seems like characters just do things w/out the filmmaker developing why (for example, one of the characters turns to the other side at one part and that scene lasts like a second, it's almost like, ok, games up I'm on your side now). All that to say, I left the movie feeling like, that was good, I enjoyed it, but I didn't think much about it and I certainly wasn't running to tell people to go out and see it.
S'Good, but borderline SA