6 July 2009 | Smells_Like_Cheese
Good, but not without flaws
Public Enemies, this film has been built up for quite a while, why not? It stars Johnny Depp as one of history's most famous bank robbers. Also the city of Chicago has been excited to see this, in some strange way we considered Dillinger to be a Robin Hood as he never took money from the common man, just from the banks. He also was clever enough to escape jail by making a fake gun out of a soap bar, I lived in Indiana for a year and people are incredibly proud that Crown Point was where Dillinger had fooled everyone, lol. So naturally I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, especially with Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, it's a can't miss. Unfortunately for me, the film fell short of our expectations as the way it was made and how there is lack of material for Depp and Bale to work with to give these characters any depth. Mann makes a film that is using a digital camera for a film set in the 1930's and doesn't really bring his A game to the film as it's more like "Here's Dillinger's story
Set in 1933 John Dillinger is brought to a penitentiary, but is there to break out the rest of his gang. After loosing a few of his friends, he's headed to Chicago to make his mark on the banks. Melvin Purvis is upgraded by J. Edgar Hoover, who is protecting the FBI from scrutiny by politicians, to lead the hunt for John. John later meets Billie Frechette, whom he takes to dinner. He states plainly what he will do for her and how he will treat her if they are to have a relationship. After a shoot out gone horribly wrong and making the police look more incompetent, Purvis demands that Hoover bring in professional lawmen who know how to catch criminals dead or alive. Though Hoover had hoped for more pristine agents, he agrees. While John and Billie are enjoying the luxuries across the States, the police finally find Dillinger and arrest him and his gang in Miami. However, Dillinger and a few inmates escape from prison using a fake gun. He is goaded into a bank robbery job by an acquaintance, Dillinger agrees. The robbery goes fine until Nelson impulsively kills a nearby police officer, alerting more of the robbery, making Dillinger Public Enemy Number 1.
Now Public Enemies is by no means a bad film, some of the actors were terrific and the sets were perfect as well as the whole feel of the film. But it just won't stop with the "Run! Chase! Run! Chase! Shoot! Shoot!" scenes that seem to dull down after a while. The love story between Dillinger and his gal, Billie didn't seem too necessary, it added to the story but for me felt a little out of place at times. I have to tell you that I'm feeling so incredibly bad for Christian Bale this year as it seems like he's been given characters who are not well written, but I'm starting to wonder if the Batman voice is his new trademark because he was starting to use that voice again in a few sentences. Depp does the best he can, but once again with the lack of material; he's made out completely as the hero of the film, instead of maybe having more of a documentary feel to it and being biased on how cool Dillinger was. Maybe he's Mann's personal hero, who knows. But over all the film is decent enough for the watch, I'd just say if you want to see it, go for a matinée or a rental, it wasn't worth the full price.