“… if you are ever forced to watch it for a form of torture, it won’t be completely terrible; if you like bad movies of course.”
It’s no secret that I love action movies, and because of that love I tend to go easier on them while watching them. For me to love a specific action movie only one thing has to be accomplished: me having fun while watching it. Unfortunately every once in a while I stumble across an action movie that forgets it is an action movie, and instead tries to be something completely different. That’s when I get my claws out. American Heist is a film about two brothers, James and Frankie (Hayden Christensen and Adrien Brody respectively). Frankie just got out of jail and he immediately visits his brother to try and recruit him for an American Heist™. Because everyone in this movie is seemingly mentally challenged, he accepts and they steal some shit. I have a laundry list of problems with this movie so let’s get into it!
First of all, American Heist opens with a flash-forward scene to set the tone I guess. The problem I have with this is the fact that the scene that they chose takes place like 30 minutes into the movie, so I am confused as to why exactly they decided to put it there. The writing of American Heist is pretty rough considering that by the end you have absolutely no sympathy for any character involved in the film, and yet the movie acts as though it is tugging on your heart strings. Couple that with the fact that one of the criminals is allotted multiple “I’m smarter than you, and here is a bullshit speech to prove it” scenes and you not only lack sympathy for the characters but you outright hate them. The writing is only accentuated by the terrible acting provided by all parties. Hayden Christensen constantly acting as though he is trying to impress Martin Scorsese at a table read, and Adrien Brody acting like he thought he was in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape or I Am Sam. To add on to that, the movie takes place in New Orleans so these to dumb fucks have extremely annoying forced accents. And to make that even worse, there is a scene later on where Hayden Christensen is wearing a bandana around his mouth which obscures his voice even more. The movie also stars Akon which leaves me wondering if he is in the movie because half of the songs used are his, or if it is the other way around. On a technical level the movie was also pretty terrible. Effects (which are very prevalent during the third act) are abysmal, and it seems that the director had a hard-on for the snorricam rig because it is used like 5 times.
If you think I’m going to give the movie the lowest score possible, you’d surprisingly be wrong. Like I said earlier, I’m more lenient toward action films and I would be lying if I didn’t say that the movie had some pretty good action sequences throughout its final push. I also appreciate that the ending (even though it wasn’t great) was different, instead of opting for the cookie-cutter ending that most action films have. And finally American Heist had a shit load of, albeit unintentional, comedy. Throughout the film I was constantly laughing, which honestly means that I didn’t have too bad of a time while watching it.
Ultimately would I recommend American Heist? Absolutely not. But just know that if you are ever forced to watch it for a form of torture, it won’t be completely terrible; if you like bad movies of course.
I give American Heist a D