‘Amsterdam’ is unique yet underwhelming

Is this movie worth all the hype?

Fair use from Rotten Tomatoes

Fair use from Rotten Tomatoes

Roberto Alvarez

Last night I went to see the new movie “Amsterdam.” I thought it was a very interesting movie.  It wasn’t one of my favorites movies, but the way it was written, shot and acted was something I’ve never seen before. This movie was directed by David O. Russel with a variety of famous celebrities playing small roles in this movie. The three main characters we see in this movie are Christian Bale, David Washington and Margot Robbie. 

This story follows Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale), a surgeon in New York in 1933. He is a veteran from World War 1 who mainly helps patients that were also veterans of the war. Burt meets with his friend who he knew during the war and who he needs help from because he’s a doctor. His name is Harold Woodsman (David Washington). A great admirer of Berendsen’s and Woodsman’s died unexpectedly and his daughter wants them to investigate his death with an autopsy.  

I didn’t see any trailers or have any idea about the plot of this movie before watching. All I knew is that it was full of a lot of A-list celebrities, including the celebrity I was most looking forward to seeing — Christian Bale. Within the first hour of this movie, the action was going at a very fast pace, with a lot of changes of setting and characters being unveiled quickly. Not until later on do we find out more about the characters. 

I’ve never seen this type of fast movement in a movie. Most of the movies I see are gentle and you gradually get to know the characters, but in this case they tell you who they are but in the shortest period of time ever. Some people might like this style if it helps them get through the movie quicker, but I want a slower pace that lets me get to know the characters individually and learn more about their backstory. It’s not that they don’t show that in this movie, but the way it’s shown is very different from movies that I have seen. The parts that I thought were fun or that grabbed my attention were towards the end of the movie, when it was reaching a point of urgency. It made me nervous not knowing how the movie was going to end. A good movie has you entertained and focused for most of the movie, not just the end of it. I didn’t really enjoy the first 75% compared to the last 25%. I know the first part leads to the big finale, but like with any good movie, you should be entertained or invested throughout, not just the last 30 minutes. 

But I do admire this movie for going in a different direction compared to what most movies would do instead. There’s more that I can’t really explain, but I thought it was interesting and unique.

If you’re looking for a movie just for the aesthetics, this would be a great one for you. The set designer did a great job when designing New York city in the 1930’s. It seemed very accurate and you could feel like you were actually there. Also, I loved the quality of the film and how it was portrayed through a camera. 

I feel like this movie was trying so hard to be something unique or different, and with the quality of actors that they had, I’m just dissapointed. The message of the movie is powerful and shows you what the world really is when powerful people are in control. But this movie just seemed too random for me and it could have done a better job at being more direct. This movie is one of those movies that I would watch once and never again.

‘Amsterdam:’ ★★★☆☆