A great cast is not enough to rescue 'Amsterdam'
This is a film that I kept watching thinking that it would make a turn for the better, it never did. Instead I tried to focus on the variety of characters portrayed by the many stars in the movie. And it is filled with them.
Christian Bale delivers another fine performance with the direction of David O. Russell. This time Bale plays Burt Berendsen, a veteran of the World War who lost an eye in the war and is now addicted to his own pain medication. John David Washington plays his best friend and fellow veteran and together in their misadventures they are accused of the murder of their former commander. Margot Robbie channels her best Katherine Hepburn and is amusing to watch as the nurse who befriended them in the war.
The sentimental and emotional tone of the film hits well in scenes taking place in Amsterdam, the problem begins when they return to New York. The plot that follows is an even bigger misstep wasting the talents of Robert De Niro, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldana, Michael Shannon and Rami Malek.
Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s pretty sepia color tone brings us into the quirky world of ‘Amsterdam’ while still delivering an accurate look of the films from that post-WWI time period.
However David O. Russell swings and misses with a hokey plot and banal twist in his screenplay. He brings a great cast to this ambitious nostalgic, comedy thriller and at times displays his directing talent with some hilarious dialogue and very shiny moments. But ultimately, the hilarious bits that work are not enough to rescue the movie.