Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington's
get their fair screen time side by side until the end when they finally
meet and have a strong scene together, where the great dialogue, thanks to
the writer, Steven Zaillian,
questions each of
these men’s positions within themselves and the law.
Why is it a strong scene? Because they are making you pay more
attention to what they are saying and their facial expressions rather than
see which of them flinches first.
Crowe doesn’t take the million dollars he finds and
Washington, on the other hand, takes all the drug money he can.
Crowe’s family life is nonexistent, while
Washington’s is going well until family members put self-interest over
The detail of Crowe pinning up pictures and then
Washington pinning up pictures shows that their environment, even if seen
from two different points of view, are shared and have similarities.
Scenes I felt were strong were the intimate ones,
such as Washington throwing his wife’s gift into the fireplace. For Crowe there is the scene with his wife and the ignored son in
the background, and there is also the courtroom scene when his soon to be
ex-wife basically tells him what she really thinks of him. Crowe’s expression as he looks at her is great! Why? Because what he replies is in line with his expression. It’s like the first time he has really ever listened to his wife.
The beginning and end of the movie have great action
sequences that keep you interested in what’s going to happen next.
Washington’s character is later revealed as being
the driver for a former criminal. It
seems his role is what Viggo Mortensen’s Nikolai in Eastern Promises,
also the driver for a crime family, can "eventually" become. (You can see these two actors in the great movie, Crimson Tide).
Russell Crowe goes from being in the sunny outdoors
in 3:10 to Yuma to the dark interiors of New Jersey in American Gangster.
He goes from the wild, wild west to the wild, wild east.
"Titan" actors working together is a treat! The third
"Titan," of course, is Ridley Scott.
Russell Crowe Index