Movie Reviews

Public Enemies Review

Michael Mann – a pedigree isn’t everything I’m afraid.

When a director delivers some of the greatest moments of your entertainment, you can be forgiven for expecting something excellent without effort. Miami Vice, Manhunter, Last of the Mohicans, Heat, Collateral – great TV and top drawer movies. Would I put Public Enemies in that bracket?

Movies around historical figures and events I have come to enjoy more as I’ve grown up, generally because they are a fun way to learn about a subject I probably missed at school. With Public Enemies I have the opportunity to learn about John Dillinger and his band of wicked men.

The casting is great, most outstanding is Jonny Depp in the role of Dillinger. Something that you can lay money on is that Depp will always give everything to a role, he knows his craft and never ceases to amaze, in fact if you stood Dillinger next to Jack Sparrow it would be hard to match the two as the same actor. Sad that he has never enjoyed the global praise that  has been heaped onto the shoulders of people like Tom ‘one trick pony’ Cruise. Dillinger’s nemesis Melvin Purvis is solidly played by an ineffective Christian Bale, but he seems lost without a tux, mask and cape.

The film itself is loud and ponderous, the quality of the stock shows Mann’s preference for digital swings from glossy to ultra grainy, in one prolonged shoot-out it looks like it could have been shot on a mobile phone and posted on you tube. I find there is a touch too much of the swinging handicam, the trend that helped me walk out of Cloverfield. Also worth a mention is the quality of the sound, the gunfire is ‘sharp’ and loud, more realistic? Perhaps, but does not make for pleasant listening in extend bursts.

The story takes it’s time to get where it’s going and the sense of desperate inevitability makes it all the more sad. It’s fair to say that I found the movie interesting, but I would not go out of my way to see it again, in fact a rewatch of The Untouchables is the biggest inspiration it left me with.

Overall – an average outing 😐 , with the exception of Johnny Depp as the Mr Reliable 9/10.

Director: Michael Mann
Cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Channing Tatum
Genre: Thriller, Historical, Crime, Adaptation
Runtime: 2hr 22mins