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+ Movies: American Gangster 2007

American Gangster was out in 2007 but I did not have a chance to watch until a few months ago. And today I watched it again. At the first sight, I thought it was just another version of Scarface or like some people said: American Gangster is the black Scarface. There are a lot of similarities in the plot between American Gangster and Scarface. Both movies deal with drugs, mafia, gangs, women, and corruption, etc…
However, what I like about American Gangster is not just because it is similar to Scarface (I like Scarface too). There are many details at which I think this movie was successful.
The first thing that attracts me is the Vietnam War problem. This movie is very close to reality mentioning the war. Drugs is just one problem of which the war in Vietnam is a factor. But in fact, there must have been many more problems like that happening during the war.
Secondly, the character’s mentality is something that Scarface does not have as much as American Gangster does. Frank Lucas (successfully played by Denzel Washington) meets a lot of difficult mental complexities when it comes to thinking, feeling, morality, loyalty, and relationships, etc… He’s not heroin addicted, he’s not a backstabber, he’s not a crook, he’s loyal, he has rules and he takes care of people. In other words, Franks Lucas has what it takes to become more than just a ruthless gangster who just knows how to shoot guns and sell drugs. Who could think that there is such a black mafia organization? At this point, I think American Gangster is very successful.
American Gangster is definitely not a movie for ordinary thrills and actions. With the Vietnam War and the situation of New York City in late ’60s and ’70s, the movie becomes greater when people can see the dark reality of corruption and the mafia world. I really like how the corrupted cops were put in the movie. Besides, many parts of the movie are quite unpredictable.
Those are the major things I like about American Gangster. Well still, I don’t want to repeat what people said but Denzel Washington and the quality of filming/pictures definitely played important roles to make American Gangster one of the best movies of the year.


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