Monday, September 17, 2018

[Review] American Animals

According to its opening, American Animals isn't based on a true story... it is a true story. And this wily heist thriller shocks and engrosses with the rumble of an impending stampede.

The plot revolves around four young men (played by Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, and Jared Abrahamson) who attempt to pull off one of the biggest and most audacious heists in U.S. history. The film covers its bases from the character historys, to the inception and preparation of the heist plans, to the heist itself, as well as the aftermath.

The dramatized events are intercut with documentary-like footage and talking heads of the real-life perpetrators, which gives the film a sense of insight and immediacy, as well as a "Holy shit this really happened" vibe. Like the heist plans, the narrative is as methodical and calculated as it is nerve-wracking and unhinged, and it's all fittingly backed by a freewheeling rock 'n' roll soundtrack. Of course, the intensity really ramps up during the actual heist and grips hold tightly. And while the film, revels in the amusement of this high-risk situation, it doesn't deny the story's darker undertones (there are victims here) or its crime doesn't pay themes. In addition to that, these are fairly privileged and affluent characters driven by toxic greed, so we aren't exactly feeling much sympathy for them. But fortunately, the plot still manages to be very engaging, no matter what.

With its unique format of being a documentary/thriller hybrid, I guess you could say American Animals kills two bird with one stone.

( 8/10 )

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