peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 11 12 Amsterdam

Amsterdam (2022)

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Promising, on the strength of writer/director David O. Russell and the cast. We start with a heavily made up physician/surgeon/quack Christian Bale trying on the Tom Waits look in 1930s NYC. John David Washington (so successful in BlacKkKlansman and so disappointing since) plays his army and lawyer buddy. In flashback we meet the other leg of their wartime romance, Margot Robbie, who makes art out of the shrapnel she extracts from men's bodies. (Where else have we seen this kind of stool?) They get framed for murder, or was it for failing to be fascistic? Taylor Swift, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rami Malek, Zoe SaldaƱa, etc. etc. are all squandered, or maybe doing what they can with some saggy material. Michael Shannon allows us to have some fun when he plays spies with Mike Myers. (This is proof that he's worth watching in just about anything.) De Niro saves us all from the furies and fates but not the preaching. Somehow it's misguided, intrinsically broken, boring and incoherent.

Manohla Dargis. Luke Goodsell. And so many others.