Blu-ray | Thriller | 16 Jan 2019
The perfect heist is a work of fiction.
From Bart Layton (The Imposter) and starring Evan Peters (The X-Men Series), Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk & The Killing of the Sacred Deer), and Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's Tale) comes the extraordinary and thrilling true story of four friends living an ordinary existence who brazenly attempt to execute one of the most audacious art heists in US history. But not everything is as it seems, and as the daring theft unfolds through each of their perspectives, they start to question whether their attempts to inject excitement and purpose into their lives is simply a misguided attempt at achieving the American Dream.
Review of American Animals by Eddie @ The Movie Guys
Filmmaker Bart Layton’s first feature film since the success of his mind-bending documentary The Imposter in 2012, American Animal’s see’s the talented director return to an experience similar to his breakout hit by delivering a narrative that blurs the line between fact and fiction, whilst allowing the real life protagonists at the heart of the story time in the spotlight.
More ambitious in scope than The Imposter in a theatrical sense, Animal’s allows Layton to showcase his growing skills behind the camera and lead a talented young cast of performers to tell the bizarre yet true story of a group of college students planning and enacting upon a heist that they see as their opportunity to “do something” with their lives , despite never before committing any grand criminal acts or without ever giving off the impression they were young men about to commit a dangerous and high profile act criminal act.
Targeting a range of rare books that were a part of the Special Collections section of the Kentucky University, art student Spencer Reinhard (Keoghan), uninterested sporting student and carefree Warren (Peters), wannabe FBI agent Eric (Abrahamson) and rich kid/entrepreneur Chas (Jenner) banded together in the early 2000’s to find a way to rob the library, getaway from the investigation and sell their loot to the black market, but soon discovered the heist life is anything but what they’ve come to expect from their love of movies that inspired their actions.
It’s an intriguing set-up for Layton to build upon and one that would seem far-fetched if it weren’t in fact a reality and the director has a ball playing with conventions as Animal’s narrative plays out with increasing energy and scope, whilst the real life heist gang recount their journey in a talking heads manner, that at times blurs into the film going on around it.
As time wears on it also becomes clearer that Layton isn’t so much interested in the undertakings of the heist (even though the planning stages and execution are well-handed) but more-so the true meaning of what this heist represented for these young men, which gives Animal’s further differentials compared with other heist film’s and also gives it a beating heart, that may not be apparent at first but certainly is come the films latter moments.
Final Say –
A heist film with a difference, American Animal’s is another standout piece of work from Layton, that when combined with solid work from its acting cast and unique structure with its real life subjects, becomes one of the years more memorable and enjoyable outings.
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Title: American Animals
Release Date: 16 Jan 2019
Actor(s): Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk, Chas Allen, Betty Jean Gooch, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner, Barry Keoghan, Jared Abrahamson, Eddie King, Karen Wheeling Reynolds, James Rackley, Drew Starkey, Anthony J. Police, Ann Dowd
Catalogue No: MMA9304BR
Disc Count: 1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
OFLC Rating: MA15+
Run Time: 116
Transfer Format: 16:9 Enhanced, Widescreen, Full Height Anamorphic, 1080P HD
Video Format: PAL
Primary Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Language: English, Dolby Digital 5.1
Region Code: B
OFLC Advice: Strong Coarse Language
Director(s): Bart Layton
Genre: Drama, Crime