David O. Russell’s in for a rough week. A couple of months ago, we reported that the director is planning his comeback with Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington starrer Amsterdam. But with the first wave of reviews hitting Rotten Tomatoes, the controversial director may just have to wait for another project.
The movie currently stands at 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with eight reviews in, most of them panning the convoluted plot and a messy tone. Apart from the three mega stars, the $80 million film also includes Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Taylor Swift, and Robert De Niro in the supporting cast.
The official synopsis of Amsterdam reads, “Set in the ’30s, it follows three friends who witness a murder, become suspects themselves, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American history.”
Set to come out in November for the general audience, Amsterdam is Russell’s first movie after 2015’s Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence. Shortly after the release, the director found himself being the subject of a series of accusations, with a viral video showcasing Russell yelling profanities at Lily Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees (2004).
Similarly, Russell’s transgender niece spoke out against the director, accusing him of inappropriately groping her. The matter though was settled out of court. Coming back to the movie, here’s what the early reviews are saying.
David Ehrlich (IndieWire) wrote: “A wildly over-cranked plea to “protect kindness” that rings every bit as forced and hollow as you might expect from someone with such a pronounced reputation for killing it himself.”
Meanwhile, Peter Debruge of Variety said: “Even though this oddball ensemble boasts intelligent ideas and a smorgasbord of against-type performances from A-list names, Amsterdam amounts to less than the sum of its parts.”
Robert Abele of The Wrap said: “No amount of star wattage can lift this flat, unfunny genre-fluid whatsit from its performative stumbling toward contemporary relevance.”
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “Can any film be called satisfying when the storytelling is so convoluted it takes an hour or more to settle on the kind of story it wants to tell, let alone a cohesive tone in which to tell it?”