Go see it. It’s good on the level of The Departed, and as long, but not a dull moment. And seriously, does Denzel Washington ever disappoint?
I am not generally the type to sit through movies that spend two hours laying the groundwork in a gritty, complicated, and boring fashion. I can appreciate layers of plot that take time to illustrate—but I am there to be entertained. If I wanted a painstaking, tortuous level of detail, I’d write a book report.
American Gangster—which is based on a true story—lets many of us in on a little Vietnam-era American history that rarely sees the light of day. Go see it for that, if for nothing else. Russell Crowe is exceedingly believable as American cop Richie Roberts—and for once, his Aussie accent does not betray him, not in one single syllable.
But back to Denzel. Ah, Denzel. As black crime boss Frank Lucas, he is debonair, potent, sophisticated, and smart. And when gorgeous, fragile Eva (Lymari Nadal) comes on the scene, it just ups the glam factor exponentially. Hell, I’d be happy just having Eva’s extraordinary menagerie of outerwear, much less the incredible digs she enjoys, courtesy of Frank’s “product.” Her costumes were worth the price of admission alone, if you ask me.
If you like good cop/bad cop movies with a little mafia thrown in, this is your movie. And the great thing is this is a story—for once—that we really haven’t seen. It’s a different perspective of the New York organized crime world, finally a new flavor to taste. You will not be disappointed.