[Review] “Amsterdam” disappoints viewers despite large celebrity cast


Tribune News Service

John David Washington, Christian Bale and Margot Robbie star as Harold, Burt and Valerie in the film “Amsterdam.” Photo courtesy of Merie Weismiller/20th Century Studios/TNS.

Ava Jurick, Writer

David O. Russell’s new film “Amsterdam” was released in theaters on Friday, Oct. 7. The film received a large amount of reviews for being an exciting new comedy/thriller. However, the film disappointed many viewers including myself.

The film’s trailer was released on July 6; While it effectively showcased the star-studded cast, it left the film shrouded in mystery. However, the trailer did explain that there was a murder that occured, and viewers could infer that three people came together in an effort to uncover the true story.

Set in 1933, “Amsterdam” is centered around three people who met while serving overseas in France during World War I. The film then jumps to the present time when the three reunite.

The film included over 15 high profile actors including Christian Bale, John David Washington and Margot Robbie. Russell also included minor roles with big names such as Robert De Niro, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña and Rami Malek. Taylor Swift shows up for a cameo as well.

The film’s overall plot is about Dr. Burt Berendsen, played by Christain Bale, attorney Harold Woodman, played by John David Washington and former military nurse Valerie Voze, played by Margot Robbie. The three reunite to deal with politics, capitalism and lies to uncover a mystery.

I felt the plot of the movie, the murder mystery, was not original. There have been plenty of movies that have similar plots so this movie felt unnecessary.

“I wanted to watch Amsterdam because the cast was filled with actors I frequently watch,” senior Julia Kayser said. “However, I stepped out of the movie theater and did not want to watch that film again.”

The film constantly had a romantic or political dilemma occuring. Sadly, the movie failed to portray a main message by only touching the surface of the political conspiracy.

Russell seems to recycle his cast including Christian Bale, who was the lead of “The Fighter and American Hustle.” His character in “Amsterdam” brings the film to life with comedic comments, which may have been the best part of the movie.

On the other hand, Bales’ co-star, ​​John David Washington, has no memorable lines or puns unlike Bale, who had hilarious scenes with Chris Rock. His character’s romantic involvement with Margot Robbie’s character was entertaining, but does not deliver anything more than simple chemistry.

Margot Robbie speaks French in the film and provides a few giggles. However, her part does not go deeper than that of a socialite.

“I enjoyed watching the movie, but it was not as extravagant as I thought it would be. Definitely not my top movie of the year,” junior Dani Knee said.

The pace of the film is chaotic between jumping back and forth of settings and the large amount of random appearances of irrelevant characters. “Amsterdam” brings back that old-hollywood feel, but it feels like this movie has been made before.

“I was so excited to see Margot Robbie and Taylor Swift,” senior Blake Handfinger said. “The acting was not as good as I expected and Taylor only made a quick appearance.”

The movie ended up being a failure with an expected loss of 100 million dollars and only making about 6 million dollars of the 80 million dollar budget. Most films with star-studded casts usually do much better in the box office.

The movie feels quite shallow despite the goal to prove that love and art can defeat the corruption of the world. David O. Russell made “Amsterdam” with the intention to make an original film, but has only received negative attention.