“ I recently stumbled upon one of Jeff Bridges early pieces entitled "American Heart" and was again impressed with his ability to take a cliché character coupled with a choppy story and transform it into a meaningful, albeit mediocre, film.
“ Unfortunately the film as a whole eventually descends into cliché and melodramatic contrivances.
“The Movie is quite engrossing despite its low-budget and downbeat story and is rendered remarkably restrained and never boring.
“ well, okay, let's just say they embellished the story with a few "surreal" elements: the gang of brightly costumed street kids seems a bit contrived, as does the bar scene where Jack puts the make on the taxicab lady (these seem more Hollywood than Seattle.
“ The ending of American Heart seems perhaps a little contrived, almost as if it came straight out of some Greek tragedy.
“ The scenes between the two actors are pivotal and breathtaking.
“ The strong, moving and absorbing story about redemption and urban blight thankfully eschews cloying sentiment and hokey mainstream Hollywood razzle-dazzle; in their place we instead have a rough and unsentimental tone that naturally draws poignancy from the characters and the dire situation they find themselves struggling to overcome.
“ Then there is Bridges' old business associate who just happens to follow the rulebook for cliché, he was my least favorite character and more filler than necessary.
“ For the antihero premise to work, there has to be something engaging or redemptive about the main character, otherwise the whole thing is off.
“ What makes the film fascinating is the texture and depth of Bridges' performance.