Empty Threats. Empty Guns.
Scott’s reign over the mean streets often comes out as a fatal attempt of conjuring Scorsese’s richness on uncouth mannerism, either way it’s a big old sunken ship from the beginning. Ironically, despite of ticking for more than two hours, it barely offers us the content of half an hour, give or take. The major disappointment is the build up of each sequences, which are perpetually on mark, but unfortunately the high pitched dramatic scene itself falls on mediocrity. Against all odds, the film is cornered by its semantics, since the biggest bombshell would be Zaillian; the writer, who has managed to write the weakest script of his career.
As far as Scott- behind the camera- is concerned, he does utilize the caliber of the cast to the last drop, but there isn’t enough concrete material to walk on. Washington, in the bad boy coat, is a threat to watch out for, his rage empowers not only on the characters but on the viewers too. And to balance the tone on the other side is, Crowe as the complex yet better person to root on, frankly his personal life has much more to offer than his professional, no matter how much limited it is.
Spicing up their relationship, lies Brolin’s challenging performance that is explored the least among all. Despite of having such an electrifying performances, the conversation aren’t zazzy enough to spark up the screen as it was anticipated and the apt example would be when Brolin and Washington goes head to head; the trash talk is just not working. And the rest of the time is spent upon creating the stereotypical montages like the loss of consciousness, the rudimentary investigation process and an imperial party gone wrong. American Gangster neither is Americana nor gangster-ous enough to define it cinematically.