Based on the life and times of gangsta superstar, Frank Lucas, who eventually became a heroin kingpin by traveling to Asia's Golden Triangle to make connections, shipping heroin back to the US in the coffins of soldiers killed in Vietnam. The story follows the rise and falls of Lucas and the down and out honest cop hot on his trail.
Ridley Scott lays down yet another great film in a genre full of champions. Maybe a hair below the classic spirits of Godfather, Casino, and Goodfellas but still a noble film with powerful performances and a darker grit. Everything about Denzel is of power and control. He moves through the frames like The Kong of all celluloid, playing all the cards and traits that we know and love him for. You don't try filming Denzel Washington, you just try to capture him.
Back with "my man" for the first time since Virtuosity, Russel Crowe rolls the dice exactly as you would expect. He digs deep, gains a little weight, and throws around a sledge hammer with the best of 'em.
American Gangster reminds me a lot of Mike Mann's HEAT in the vein that Scott had two rival actors, Denzel and Russ, duke it out the entire film yet the two never act in the same frame until the last thirty minutes of the movie.
Don't expect a lot of action or movement. Just sit back and relax as two cinematic power houses play the game we love.
PS. You gotta love Doc Bloc playin the dirty cop.