Posted on 2/11/13 05:27 PM
"My man." - Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington)
American Gangster is one of the only good gangster films of the 21st century. It shows how Denzel Washington doesn't fail. He is a great actor and this is one of his best films. It is my 4th favorite film of his after "The Hurricane," "Philadelphia," and "Training Day." It is like "The Godfather," and "Goodfellas" but with black people. It is a true story, based on a gangster named Frank Lucas who operated out of Harlem. Bumpy Jackson started to teach Frank his ways and how to run an illegitimate business. When he started teaching him immigrants were taking over the city, and putting people out of work. The drug business seemed almost like a job they did because they were running out of them. The country was getting too big so they had to do illegal things. After Bumpy Jackson died Frank Lucas inherited his empire in 1968, and built it into a big drug business. He had soldiers coming home from the war in Vietnam smuggle a form of heroin into the country, and he put a chemical in it that makes it blue and 100% percent pure. It gains the name "Blue Magic."
The film also is about police corruption. Russell Crowe plays an honest cop, who is disliked for being honest. He can't be bribed or paid off which adds a lot to the ending when he takes down Frank Lucas's empire. Though he is an honest cop he is not an honest man. He is in a custody battle for his son. His wife left him because he cheated on her with a few different women. You have mixed feelings about him, but you like him because he has the most endearing qualities of pretty much any person in the film. It shows you how bad the people in the film are if the most likeable guy is a man who cheats on his wife. But you do like him because he is an intense guy who seems to be the only police officer who believes that police officers should be trying to put bad guys behind bars, instead of taking bribes. It says at the end that 3/4 of the police department went to jail for taking bribes. A lot of them also did drugs, and got them from Frank Lucas. Police corruption has improved and there is no where near as much as there was before, but it shows how bad it was that one guy was disliked by other cps fro not being corrupt. The other police officers do drugs with Frank Lucas. He truly is the only honest one in the department.
Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is a sociopathic guy who kills his own family members at times. He is kind of like the Godfather in a sense. There is one scene where he is having thanksgiving with his family, but his business is going on and his workers are killing people under his orders. It is kind of like the scene when Michael Corleone becomes Godfather to his sister's child. He also delivers a chicken in a cage to one of the police officers house who he was bribing and when he opens the door his car blows up. That reminded me of the Godfather a lot. The guys had a really great sports car and he could afford it because of the bribes he would take from Lucas. The whole incident was to send a message I guess. I forgot what that was for. The film is hard to follow, so I will have to watch it again so I will pick up on things. But overall this is a really good movie that goes on the list of the all time greatest gangster films. Another classic Denzel Washington film.