“ 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.
“ For the antihero premise to work, there has to be something engaging or redemptive about the main character, otherwise the whole thing is off.
“The Movie is quite engrossing despite its low-budget and downbeat story and is rendered remarkably restrained and never boring.
“ 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.
“ What makes the film fascinating is the texture and depth of Bridges' performance.
“ 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.
“ The scenes between the two actors are pivotal and breathtaking.
“ Unfortunately the film as a whole eventually descends into cliché and melodramatic contrivances.
“ 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.
“ The ending of American Heart seems perhaps a little contrived, almost as if it came straight out of some Greek tragedy.