In the shadow of the Great Depression, criminal minds are thriving -- notorious men such as John Dillinger, "Baby Face" Nelson and "Pretty Boy" Floyd -- and it's up to J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI to bring them down in this gritty crime drama.
Public Enemies, a Mr. E Movie Review
(Run time: 140 min. - Directed by: Michael Mann - Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale)
I had huge expectations going in to see the new Johnny Depp gangster flick Public Enemies. I am a big gangster movie buff and love almost everything IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen from the black and white classics all the way to The SopranoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. Public Enemies is nowhere on this list for me. I mean, come on, he did an awesome Donnie Brasco, an iconic Captain Jack, and really just seems to nail every wacky role he morphs into. So, why not a killer John Dillinger?
Anyway hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the story. Tons of bullets are spent, a couple jail breaks happen, and John meets a girl. Period. Sorry, I thought they could of rapped that up in an hour and a half easily! Instead they drawl out and try to intertwine the whole cat and mouse game between bank robber Dillinger and Federal agent Melvin Purvis, played by Christian Bale.
I think if the movie itself wouldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve played a lot quicker I might of liked it more. It really seemed to drag on and on. And unfortunately I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even like Dillinger anymore after seeing this movie. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel like he was special or cool in anyway, I mean the coolest thing he did was walk right into the main office of the Federal agents chasing him once and no one unrecognized him, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it?
Christian Bale was cool. He did his part, nothing spectacular thou. (Unusual for Bale.)
Now, a bunch of people got shot and killed in this movie but, only one thing really got killed during this movie and that was my time. And so unless youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to share my fate I suggest you put away your Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tommy gunÃ¢â‚¬Â and steer your old big block V8 to a completely different movie before I have to tell you I told you so.
(Sorry Mr. Depp, I really tried. Loved you in Ã¢â‚¬Å“WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Eating Gilbert GrapeÃ¢â‚¬Â?)
Definitely not the best movie I've seen with Johnny Deep, neither the best with Christian Bale. I kinda like their movies, but I could say I've seen better movies with each of them. Said this, I can say that it is a good action movie. It has a good plot, especially because it's about a true story. I personally love movies related with true stories like this one. I believe the cast was amazing, even though, they looked sometimes more like magazine models than real people, even though, I know that John Dillinger loved expensive cloths & good lifestyle. It's a movie loaded with lots of action scenes.
Based on a true story, the film tells the tale of John Dillinger who was a notorious American gangster during the 1930s along with Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson. J. Edgar Hoover's FBI and their top agent, Melvin Pervis, have the job of catching Dillinger and bringing him down.
Johnny Depp is one of the greatest actors of our time. He can play so many different roles and make his performance perfect every time. He does it again here and shows more of his gritty side. Depp really captures the essence of John Dillinger and adds to the feeling of the whole film. All of the supporting actors are great as well. Christian Bale showed that his character could be innocent yet confident at the same time. But the supporting actor that shined the most was Stephen Graham as Baby Face Nelson. There were traces of James Cagney's great acting abilities from the 1930s in his performance.
Does the story sound fairly simple to you? That's because it is. The plot is good but there's not much of a side story. With Michael Mann directing the movie, I was expecting it to go deeper. When the side story does start, all that becomes is a slow romance between John Dillinger and Billie Frechette, played by Marion Cotillard. The entire first half is drowned out by slow conversation. Also, I was disappointed by the bank robbery scenes. There are only two of them and they're too short. The first half lacks the tension that the second half does have.
There's an incredible 90 minute masterpiece packed inside this two and a half hour film. I thoroughly enjoyed the second half, especially the amazing shoot-out in the woods. The action scenes are well shot and very well edited. Although the first half drags on, the film is worth seeing in the theatre due to the top notch acting and the sounds of guns blazing during the very well made second half.
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Gangsters are chic these days. Forget about hoods roaming the streets of Vancouver or the dreaded disgrace of turning good neighbourhoods into crime scenes as in the once friendly Yale town area. Take a look at Public Enemies, a dynamic new crime saga from Universal Films now slugging it out at Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver City cites across B.C. Superstars Johnny Depp and Christian Bale go toe to toe in this homage to John Dillinger, one of the most fabled criminals in the annals of murder incorporated.
Life was tough during the Great Depression. Back in those heady days one gangster struck a chord and stuck out in the minds of the American public. Bank robberies were John DillingerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s forte and through a very accurate recreation of his life director Michael Mann (Ali) takes us into the bowels of this manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s psyche and mode of operation.
Bank robberies galore follow this man around along with a dalliance with a lady or two. Out to stop him is J. Edgar Hoover and the hand-picked Melvin Purvis, a man in the Elliott Ness mould. Fun seems to be the driving force for DillingerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s assault on savings institutions hence his dalliance with local gal pal Billie Frechette.
140 minutes seems long for this movie. Variations of the bank robberies are largely forgettable as weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re left with typical crimes with not that much to distinguish between them. Johnny Depp, who got his start in Vancouver with 21 Jump Street, the show that made him a star, is effective as Dillinger. Less impactful is the romance which also doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have that much heat or sizzle despite the work of Academy Award winning Marion Cotillard (La vie en rose).
Shoot-outs are the raison dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢etre in true life crime stories and Mann does create an air of excitement and anticipation as the wild hail of bullets does get a bit of a rise. Still, you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get that much of a sense of real shock that one got with films like Bonny and Clyde and even the Untouchables. Better writing or a more fictionalized account of this gangland icon may have helped with the cinematic treatment of this subject matter. As such, we see good work by Depp and Bale in a power struggle whose strength is more a battle of minds and wills than full on brutality which I suspect was the true tale of this cultural icon whose variation on Robin Hood type antics of taking from the rich and not the poor does hit home.
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The casting of Johnny Depp as Dillinger was perfect. Thats about all I can say good about this overlong,badly scripited mess of a movie. The usually dependable director Michael Mann lays a big terd with this 2 1/2 hour film that never works from the very start. What exactly went wrong appears to be behind the scenes during production since the film is so uneven and confusing that the audience left the theater stunned how bad it was. Depp, as usual, is wonderful. He just has nothing to work with. The rest of the cast is so bad you sometimes think your watching an Ed Wood movie. Christian Bale, who is overrated anyway,gives one of the worst wooden performances in recent years as agent Purvis. Look for this film to gobble up most of the trophies at the next Golden Turkey awards. What a shame.
First of all, see this movie at a first-run theatre. Don't wait for a showing at a second-run theatre or the DVD. You have to see this gorgeous film in the best possible projection, because the photography is unbelievable. I assume that it was shot on film because I don't think that high-def video looks this good, at least not yet. I heard that the problem with video is that you can't use it to film things that are extremely bright (like muzzle flashes from Tommy guns) or extremely dark (like the night gunfight scenes).
The recreation of the period is great, and I doubt that 1933 Depression America looked this pristene. The bank holdups take place in large, cavernous banks with ornate walls and lots of cash, the way that banks once looked. The cars and the costumes are spotless. Even the fort-like prison in Indiana is white and squeaky clean. The gunfights are intense and expertly done. (What would you expect from Michael Mann, who did the L.A. gunfight in "Heat"?
Unfortunately the film left me a little dissatisfied because it runs off in so many directions. It explores the brooding character of Dillinger and his girlfriend (the beautiful Ms. Cotillard). It spends time with Melvin Purvis and J. Edgar Hoover, who are trying to establish a national police force (the FBI). It explores the media circus surrounding Dillinger, and the new heat faced by organized crime, who wish that Dillinger would go away. The film strikes a relevant chord, since we are now in the Depression of 2009, and the new bank robbers are credit default swaps and Bernie Madoff. For a livelier and less serious Dillinger movie, you can watch the Warren Oates 1973 film "Dillinger" on Fancast.
Just saw this Friday night and I have to say, what is with these movies lately being just to long? really.
Although Public Enemies seemed to drag a tad, over all it was a good movie. Depp did a excellent job as Dillenger (minus the CGI face when he hops over the counter of the first bank job, come on.) and even though his role seemed sort of weak to me, Bale did a fine job as well. I thought that Dillenger's girlfriend in the movie ( I do not know her real name off the top of my head) Billy was great and deserved more face time then she received.
The action scenes and shoot outs were fun and you felt like you were right there (or maybe I was to close to the screen).
The bits of humor was nice and judging by the crowd they hit there marks spot on.
All in all I give Public Enemies 4/5 stars and would say go see it.
Also there is a lot of stars with small roles in this film, most notably Stephen Dorf which was a cool.