Saturday, July 4, 2009
The more I think about this film the more I like it. I have been a fan of the filmmaker Micheal Mann since the 1995 classic Heat. Mann has a style all his own when it comes to making films about cops, robbers, crooks, and thieves. It is a style that I have grown to love. When you go in to see a movie that's directed by Mann say MIAMI VICE be prepared to get sucked into the characters and the world they live in. Mann's movies are very character driven and I think that's why most of them are great films. It's important to point out that Mr. Mann is not an action movie director, but the cherry on top of his crime dramas is his action. Before this review I should have done some research on the background of Micheal and see if he ever worked as a police officer or ever was a detective. I mention this because the way his action scenes unfold loud, fast, and sometimes brutal. He makes the realistic hyper realistic, I say this because as real as it all may feel, we are still watching a movie.
PUBLIC ENEMIES is a film about the most famous year in the life of the 1930's most popular bank robber, John Dillinger. This film wastes no time and gets right to what Dillinger was good at which was robbing banks. This is no “who is John Dillinger and why does he do the things he is good at?” film, this is the “ Dillinger was an iconic bank robber and this is how it all went down!” film. Watching the movie Dillinger seems like a very charming man and who better to play him then Johnny Depp. Depp is one of the coolest and most likable actors working today and Dillinger was well liked doing what he did in the Depression Era. The woman in the “red dress” Billie Frechette played by Marion Cotillard was very stunning in her performance. The love between these two was believable but dragged on at times. If this movie does good I hope to see more of Marion in the future.
Agent Purvis the man after Dillinger played by everybody's favorite Batman Christian Bale was another top notch performance for the actor. Purvis is a hunter in every sense of the word and will stop and nothing to get his man. Purvis and his squad are the good guys but Dillinger can't help but be the hero, because it is his story nonetheless. The rest of the cast is amazing and is a who's who of quick roles. When I was watching I kept going saying 'cool, he's in this movie!'.
What I did not particularity care for was the choice to film the movie in digital. Mann has used digital since I believe COLATRAL and on modern movies it looks great, but it just does not work for me when your movie is set in the '30's. My other gripe is that Micheal Mann likes to make long movies so a lot of sub plots get left on the cutting room floor thanks to Hollywood suits. So even though it may be 30 minutes longer I would like to see a director cut of PUBLIC ENEMIES when it comes out on DVD. Most of his films have director cuts and it really helps the flow like it or not.
It's a B- from me for PUBLIC ENEMIES. Enjoy!!!!