No one is nor should be making the case that "American Animals" is wildly original. At times, the film is a hybridized heist film between "Reservoir Dogs" and "Ocean's 11," and bears an intertwined sense of truth and dramatization that "I, Tonya" made mainstream. But there are many moments that land with resounding resonance and several performers (Keoghan, Jenner, Dowd) who make a messy story absolutely slick.
Oh, Christ, we're still in this phase of postmodernity? Uh, maybe the problem isn't us out here on the receiving end. AMERICAN ANIMALS does a dance of a thousand veils to make you think it is something way more than an entertaining way to pass the time, which is what it is (if you're being generous). Truth? The epistemics of "truth-claim"? Oh, spare me. This is a classic-rock-pumping movie-movie wank.
After fifteen minutes I realized that American Animals was not the movie I wanted to see and I quickly lost interest. I wish Bart Layton opted for a Rashomon-like narrative and crafted a multilayered, deeply contradictory story, told from four different POVs. Instead, he delivers a rather pedestrian re-enactment, that does not truly break any grounds in juxtaposing the originals and their avatars. The Imposter 2...
It's hampered and too-politely defined by its subjects simple definitions and reasons not stretching beyond small-town boredom and feelings of insignificance, making it a true story not particularly dramatic. The situational comedy and interplay with the intercut real-life subjects certainly keep your eyes on it, but American Animals shows that truth is NOT stranger than fiction, even if it tries to make it so.
I HATE movies where the purpose is to create a tedious metaphor for The Struggle of the Artist. AA says NOTHING that isn't articulated with more depth and heart in myriad other books, movies, YouTube rants, etc. Glorifies four dickheads, gives 'em an opportunity to broadcast their blatantly staged fake as fuck moral reckonings. Picking up such shit spells DOOM for MoviePass, to me, much more than the shaky biz model.