Movie review : Public Enemies

[ no spoilers ]

Guess what: Johnny Depp is a fantastic actor. Once again, he plays his roll with aplomb. I think that Depp and Mann – the director – play well together. Depp is able to commanded the scenes he was in without overdoing it, which is a tribute to their team work.

It’s hard to say if Christian Bale did a good job because his character is so unassuming. In a way, I wish he hadn’t been in this movie. There are many actors that could have done a fine job of playing FBI agent Melvin Purvis leaving Bale to shine in something more demanding of his talents.

The only other character to get enough screen time to be recognized is Dillinger’s girlfriend played by Marion Cotillard. The only problem I had with the entire movie is that there didn’t seem to be any magic between her and Depp that would justify the attraction and sacrifices that the characters made for each other.

Michael Mann, the director, does a nice job of making a modern 1930s movie. The colors are muted throughout the film and occasionally he fades to a sepia tone to give it that news real footage.

From reading back over this much of my review I see the failing of this movie: there is nothing magical about it.

Everything in the movie seems to be slightly muted, just like the colors. There isn’t much to cheer for or against. And because it’s based on a true story there is little, or no, suspense. Of course Depp creates a likable but not lovable Dillinger. Bale’s character is no different. And the one thing that probably could have made the movie much better would be to create a real love story between Dillinger and Billie. But that doesn’t quite get off the ground either.

So there wasn’t anything wrong with this movie but there also wasn’t anything right about it either. If I didn’t have to see it professionally – to get the PeeTimes – then I wouldn’t have missed seeing this one. But then again it wasn’t a total waste of time either.

What did you think about Public Enemies? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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