Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Digital and coming to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and DVD from 20th Century Studios and director David O. Russell is the trio from AMSTERDAM.

It is 1918 and Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale) is off to fight in France during World War I and there he meets his soon to be best friend Harold Woodsman (John David Washington). When both are seriously wounded, they are taken care of by Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie) who has a strange penchant for collecting shrapnel from wounded soldiers.

Making their way to Amsterdam, they all spend time together until Burt goes home to New York City and becomes a doctor. Eventually, Harold follows to become a respected lawyer in the same city. Time passes and both men have their own practices which brings Harold to call upon his friend Burt to find out what killed their regimental commander, Bill Meekins. It is his daughter Elizabeth (Taylor Swift) who wants the answers.

Irma St. Clair (Zoe Saldana) helps Burt discover what could have happened and then chaos breaks loose. Now Burt and Harold are suspected of murder! Both men begin to look for answers to clear their names and it shocks them leading to Valerie! Her brother Tom (Rami Malek) and his wife Libby (Anya Taylor-Joy) who worries that his sister might have mental health issues.

Explaining their predicament, Tom suggests they seek out General Gil Dillenbeck (Robert De Niro) who knew Meekins. Inviting him to speak at the veteran’s gala, Burt and Harold are hoping that those responsible for everything will unknowingly reveal themselves.

Now comes the fast past unraveling as a hitman is after them, the Council of Five is a mystery, there is a secret meeting at the Waldorf Astoria and a plot to removed the President of the United States is met with a gala of beautiful people planning heinous things.

Things were quieter in Amsterdam!

Bale as Burt is afraid of what his wife will think of his injuries when they first happen but also knows that after spending time in Amsterdam, it is time to go home. Becoming a doctor is a way he can help his fellow man, even if he can’t be helped. Bale is a tad scary looking in this role but that starts to fade away when the character just wants to clear his name. Oh, there is the occasional eye thing to remind us of his frailties but his mind works just fine.

Washington as Harold equally wants to help people and knows he can always rely on his friend Burt for help. He doesn’t realize that his latest need for it will cause them both to be on the run! Washington gives us a solid character who knows his heart and is equally as quick as his mind takes it all in and pieces it together.

Robbie as Valerie loves both of the men but in love with just one. She helps them start their lives and fades into obscurity, or so both men thought. Once they realize who she is, Valerie wants to help and if it means being a little nutty doing it then – so be it. We know Robbie can do crazy and it works.

Taylor-Joy as Libby is just as mean as she wants to be under the guise of a caring sister-in-law. Personally, I would have knocked her down a peg or two with a hammer but that’s just me. Saldana as St. Clair helps Burt but keeps her feelings to herself. She is calm, cool and collected which Burt sometimes is not.

Malek as brother Tom is a smooth character and keeps his gentlemanly like composure, well, 99% of the time anyway. De Niro as Dillenbeck is another cool cucumber who wants the answers as to who is responsible for the death of his friend Meekins. He will go along to get along but won’t be bought – period. That’s a De Niro character right there!

Other cast include Alessandro Nivola as Det. Hiltz, Andrea Riseborough as Beatrice Vanderheuvel, Chris Rock as Milton King, Matthias Schoenaerts as Det. Getwiller, Michael Shannon as Henry Norcross, Mike Myers as Paul Canterbury, Timothy Olyphant as Tarim Milfax, Beth Grant as Mrs. Dillenbeck, Casey Biggs as Augustus, Colleen Camp as Eva Ott, Leland Orser as Mr. Nevins, Tom Irwin as Mr. Belport, Dey Young as Alvelia and Ed Begley Jr. as Bill Meekins.

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The Bonus Feature includes Welcome to Amsterdam – Learn How this original, witty crime epic was made. Hear from the writer/director about his process, the actors who transformed into their characters, and discover how the production created the period look of this visually spectacular film.

AMSTERDAM is a noir thriller with everything in the mix! There is forbidden love, longing, war, secrets, spies, mystery, death, chase, suspects, twists, turns and more twists and that’s probably in the first hour alone. This is a large cast of characters and each has their own part to add to the extremely large puzzle.

The humor is there and it is subtle which if you are going to do a murder mystery is as it should be. I have always been an admirer of this genre of film because, as much as the costuming and settings are an added character bonus, it is the actors who make it all happen. They create these unusual people with unusual background stories that don’t seem so unusual once it is all unraveled.

So, popcorn up and guess who done it!

In the end – let the love, murder, and conspiracy begin!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.