Public Enemies

Director - Michael Mann

Genre - Biography/Crime/Drama

Michael Mann has a knack for making violent features with really dramatic possibilities. The opening of this film lunges straight for the jugular as we are introduced to John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), a dashing and reckless bank robber who is in the middle of a daring jailbreak. From that explosive start, we are let generously into the lives of Dillinger and his crew, with the former being the main focus. When Christian Bale enters the frame, it is in the guise of a determined lawman who is gunning for Dillinger's arrest as a career advancement. With Depp and Bale locking horns, apt attention is guaranteed. Depp is perfect for the role of a notorious 'folk hero' type bandit. We've never really like Depp's roles except for 'Donnie Brasco'. He usually lets his characters have too many 'ornaments' which kill the believability factor. This time we have to say we can't imagine anyone else acting the part.

3.5 STARS!

All about Public Enemies


CMrok93 said…
Depp is awesome in this performance, and there are good action spots here, but the look just took me away from the film. I don't know what it was, but the fact that the HD camera was used, had me scratching my head at points. Good Review!
Thanks for the compliment. We see what you're getting at. It has happened to us before. Sometimes, the look of a film is the most important factor.
Multiplex Slut said…
I'd have shaved a star of this one. For all its visual impact it's too bloody long! Good review though, wish I could be that succinct!
Thank you for your kind words. To cut a long reply short (we don't want you to say we're too long-winded either), Depp's character had to have room to develop, to grow on us. To shorten the length would leave us feeling no connection with the character, rendering it as just a regular action film.
NeonKlaws said…
I really didn't get on with this film. It was all too crisp and polished for me. Crime movies should be dark, dirty and uncomfortable, like a night out in Glasgow
Wow...Glasgow sounds dangerous! Glasgow's tourism board won't be too happy with your comment there. Haha. :)

As for 'Public Enemies' being too polished...we didn't feel that at all. Gangsters and the world they live in don't necessarily have to be dirty and dark. Look at John Gotti or the 'Godfather'. They can be romantic and glamorous too. The movie attempted to revive the old, Sinatra's Rat Pack style and for us, it worked wonders.
Xay B. said…
What do you think about J.Depp in general. My friends and I had an argument about whether or not Johnny Deep is niche. They argued his amount roles says he isn't, while I argued that the majority of his roles were so wacky or weird it actually put his into a niche.

They said that this movie proved the otherwise but I'm still skeptical
We think he's niche too. His too close for comfort, repetitive association with Tim Burton has pigeon-holed him into some kind of weirdo for hire.

This role we liked because he plays it regular, but still it doesn't let him off the hook because it's not a big stretch. He is just playing up his suave, rebellious persona in this film.

He's not a versatile or character actor. He can't do comedy, heavy drama or roles which require him to emote great pain. We've never seen that from him. You're never surprised with Depp's choices, are you? He makes safe ones that don't stray off too much from what he's done before. We would like to see him in a Tarantino flick, playing a balding mob boss who tries to become legitimate and get his family back. Or a skinhead who falls in love with Michelle Rodriquez, facing the wrath of his fellow racist cohorts. Alas, we think these surprises will never happen in our lifetimes.