Movie Review: Amsterdam (2022)

Now playing in select theatres from 20th Century Studios.

For much of its running time, David O. Russell’s noxious Dutch oven of a comic mystery, Amsterdam (C-), maintains a whiff of silent, violent and relatively mild stakes. The characters, barely whispering dialogue through most of the opening sequences, partake in an insular, circuitous series of events; with the slight story concluding a little better than expected. There are isolated moments of enjoyment amidst the ‘30s set sepia tone antics, but it’s all much less than the sum of its parts. The central acting trio – Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington – witness a murder, become suspects themselves and uncover hints of an American underbelly. Only Bale truly dazzles as an eccentric and jovial doctor and WWI veteran; many other talented performers in the sprawling ensemble seem quite lost. For every quirky Rami Malek, there’s a boring Robert De Niro. Russell’s piquant wit and themes get away from him, and the labyrinthine plot runs out of steam quickly. Self-conscious narration and awkward flashbacks further sabotage the story. Undoubtedly this will go down as folly. 

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