Title: American Gangster: Lucas vs. Richie Roberts

959 Words4 Pages
Frank Lucas was a country boy from North Carolina who came to New York in search for a better life of opportunity and success. He ended up working as a personal driver and bodyguard for one of Harlem’s most revered and feared drugs lords, Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson, the last great underworld bosses. Lucas highly looked up to Bumpy as a mentor, even going as far as comparing him to Martin Luther King, Jr. Bumpy had taught Lucas everything he knew, so that when he died of a stroke in 1968, Lucas was more than ready to take the reins. He steps into the void left by his mentor's death in 1968 by traveling to the jungles of Thailand and, with crucial help from an Army relative, transporting 100 kilos of pure heroin back to the U.S. via military planes. Eliminating any middleman, Frank floods the streets with top-quality stuff, undercuts the competition's prices and reaps huge profits. Richie is a sweaty, scraping-it-together detective from Jersey going through an unpleasant divorce (he has a young son), and studying for a law degree when he's not chasing down drug dealers. He becomes the notorious exception to the rule in his profession when he busts a couple guys with a million bucks in the trunk and insists on turning it in; Richie Roberts is an honest man and an even more honest detective. There is a strong contrast between the two protagonists. Frank Lucas loves his family and city, New York, giving back to the community by providing free food and clothing to his beloved people of Harlem, but he also contributes to death, destruction and addiction like no other. Coming from humble beginnings, he wants to achieve the American dream of having ambition and being highly successful, even if it means achieving it through illegal means. He wants to provide as much as he can to his family, but at the expense of what? It seemed that such a challenge was not too difficult

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