Review of 'Amsterdam'

amsterdam.jpg In the first world war, two soldiers, Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale) and Harold Woodsman (John David Washington) become friends. After sustaining injuries in battle they are nursed to health by eccentric nurse Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie). The three move to Amsterdam where they live happily together until Burt leaves to join his wife in New York City. Fifteen years later Burt has opened his own, money losing, medical practice catering to veterans while Harold has become a lawyer and the two have lost touch with Valerie. Harold approaches Burt to perform an on their regiment's commander Bill Meekins at the request of Elizabeth (Taylor Swift), Meekins daughter, who believes him to have been poisoned. After Burt confirms this he and Harold meet with Elizabeth but she is unexpectedly killed when an unknown assailant pushes her into traffic. Blamed for her death, Harold and Burt race to discover why Elizabeth hired them and who is out to get them which will lead them to their long lost friend and a plot to overthrow the US government…

If you watch the trailers for this film you would think it is a wonderful comedy and while there there are comedic bits on the whole this is quite a serious and often tedious melodrama though one with some tremendous performances from the principal cast. They play a group of somewhat anti-establishment bohemians who find themselves thrown into bizarre and tragic circumstances. There are some big names here including a wonderfully understated Robert De Niro as General Gil Dillenbeck and a quirky Mike Myers as Paul Canterbury, a mysterious benefactor.

The plot is not terribly difficult to follow as it plays out slowly over the two hours run-time. The film is very much focused on the interaction between the three friends and it is only when we reach the climax that the conspiracy plot takes over our attention.

The film looks great and has some good performances but it is most definitely not a comedy. A slick, slow-burner that has a few (mild) surprises that keeps us awake but I can't say the film really grabbed me. It was…ok.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-11-13

Directed by: David O. Russell

Studio: 20th Century Studios

Year: 2022

Length: 134 minutes

Genre: Melodrama