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Movie Review: Public Enemies

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

1     0

Written July 1, 09

For Depp fans out there, the poster probably already had you at "Johnny Depp". If not enough, just by looking at the gangster-dressed Johnny in it, will have you snooped in the film. And to top things off, you figure out it's directed non-other by one of America's best cime film directors, Michael Mann. And true to be said, all of this factors amount to a perfect recipe for a hard-edge beginning of summer ride.

Public Enemies tells the tale about
America's notorious, yet charming gangster during the 30s depression era, John Dilinger, as he struggles for survival in his last days. This brings forward, what has been known as the FBI's largest manhunt in America of the century.
As the movie goes on throughout shootouts
and chases, Mr. Dilinger (Depp) meets the adorable Billie (Cottillard), and what soon happens to become his one love, and only weakness.

While I did not find it to be a problem, many people have argued about the film's mildly slow progress. THIS IS NOT AN ACTION MOVIE. (Director) Mann's objective is to tell a tale about a man's life turned wrong through many reckless acts, and his legacy in crime. And this is part of the movie's key; half-way through the movie, the audience will know Dilinger, they'll figure out his mind, and they'll care bout him. Now, when you have two characters set in motion; the cop and the robber, it turns to a great suspense to see the cards played that lead to the winner's end. And all this relies on Mann's role as director.

To put it this way, Public Enemies has -if not the best- shootout sequences ever captured in film: they are slick, realistic, and really fun to watch in film. People going to see this film looking for action will not be dissapointed.

Another pro in the movie, is that it knows how to balance itself from the dialogue and action. To work as a gangster movie it must have a borderline between the plot and the shootings, and that's exactly how it works here. The artistic direction, the gun sounds, the soundtrack- all this amounts to an almost flawless chapter of crime.
There were minor problems too now and then with the dialogue, but the biggest was probably how Dilinger's relationship with Billie was pictured; it feels too surreal, and too quick to already fall in love with each other.

And finally accounts to acting. Expecting much from Depp is not surprising, and that's exactly what we get; often quircky but yes, Dilinger is dangerous, and he is likeable. For johnny, I'd say it's one of the best performances he's ever given.
In his other hand, Christian Bale as FBI agent Melvin Purvis; much like his other roles, he plays a serious, bold-ass man sonely determined to his one goal, to capture John Dilinger. (MINOR SPOILER: By the way, there is never a scene where this two characters confront each other face to face, they are not enemies, but only doing
their job. The title reffers to John Dilinger as number one public enemy, along with his crew..) And Cottillard as the gangster's girlfriend, played terrific. Much of Dilinger's actions revolve around because of her, and you can see why.

Overall, Public Enemies is one of the best crime films i have recently enjoyed, Not to mention its incredible shootouts. Whether you're in for Depp, Mann, the story, the action, etc. go watch this. John Dilinger escaped from jail, and he stole the crowd into an amazing drama.



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