Jess V. KnippingComment

American Animals (2018), Dir. Bart Layton

Jess V. KnippingComment
American Animals (2018), Dir. Bart Layton
How can I tell you if I’m in or I’m out without telling me the first thing about what I might be in or out of.
— Eric Borsuk, American Animals (2018)

Stars: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Gary Basaraba, Lara Grice, Jane McNeill, Whitney Goin, Warren Lipka, Spencer Reinhard, Chas Allen, Eric Borsuk.
Director: Bart Layton
Screenplay: Bart Layton

Boy do I like watching heists. Boy do I like watching college freshman finding freedom for the first time. Boy do I like watching young cis white men realise that they are insignificant in the grand scheme of everything. And boy do I like seeing this all come together in a tight and entertaining film.

How do we want to prove to the world that we are something special. We grow up hopefully in the comfort of a secure home, do well in school and go to college. Because of this amazing lifestyle we are sheltered from any real pain and experience. We come out of high school without experiencing a whole lot, and that is scary. How are we different from anyone else, will our lives have meaning… These boys are asking themselves these rational questions and end up answering them in a very silly way.

The film’s structure is interesting with interviews as the plot rolls on through. It creates an interest from not only the framework of the heist but the perspective of everyone involved. Peters (Warren Lipka) does his usual unhinged performance which is compelling and he has Koeghan (Spencer Reinhard) as his foil. These two men are exact opposites which makes this film slightly more than a normal heist movie.

What interests me is what they are stealing in the first place and how low the stakes potentially are. All they need to do is get past the Librarian (played by Ann Dowd) and steal some books. It layers this film with innocence which means you are more than happy to follow them and hope they succeed.

★ ★ ★ ★