Firstly; what a cast! I mean, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner all in the one film? In any circumstance, ONE of these hardhitters could have me in the cinema and paying attention. But all of them at once? This has one of two outcomes; a mess, where the ensemble engulfs the individual and the plot collapses, or, more likely given the quality of the director (whose previous film “Silver Linings Playbook”) was excellent, a perfectly executed story where the actors all play off each other and provide falls for the others whenever required, never exploiting anybody as ‘bigger’ or ‘better’.
Thankfully; the latter is the result. The actors all give way to the others for an almost structured amount of screen time. Each one of them, also of note, plays a character which is out of form of their other, perhaps more famous roles. Christian Bale is NOT batman, Jennifer Lawrence is neither Mystique or Katniss Eberdeen, Amy Adams not the chick-flick wide-eyed character, Bradley Cooper is NOT mike from the Hangoever and Jeremy Renner is NOT bourne 2.0 or Hawkeye. In fact, the open fronted Adams is deliciously different from anything else shes done and the slutty, white trash Lawrence is gloriously surprisingly coarse. This wonderfully shows the scope of actors these days, showing that despite being classed as Hollywood-elite pretty boys/girls, they can drop their pretence and be ACTORS. Christian Bale’s diabolical wig is an example.
Its fortunate then, that the actors drive the film, because the plot is a bit rubbish, unfortunately. Now, i say this as a fan of the British TV program “Hustle”. And the plot of this film is pretty much an episode of this show, on the big screen. And that, i’m afraid, nullifies most of the threat hinted to in the story. But theres always that niggling thought that they’ve planned ahead. And i wasn’t wrong.
Still; a fantastic watch. If even just for shallow reasons (Amy Adams’ dresses).