Film Reviews

Public Enemies

Universal Pictures

I was a little apprehensive regarding the plot of Public Enemies at first, as the tale of a bank robber in the 1930’s on the run doesn’t really seem to flicker on my movie radar. However, as the movie goes into depth and looks at people being caught in extreme circumstances, J. Edgar Hoover exploiting outlaws and capturing them to elevate his need to make the Bureau of Investigation Federal and making John Dillinger American’s Number one public enemy, it actually gets much more interesting.

This is Michael Mann’s most ambitions and timely project to date. Within the fast and dangerous life of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), we experience fast moving cars, gunfire, escaping prison as well as being a bank robber in love. Mann has been able to create a believable 1930s, taking into consideration how men and women acted as well as courted and the law of the time. Even though this is based on the true-life events, I have to say I was a little disappointed in regards to the ending. Dillinger had an adventurous life, bank robberies, in and out of prison, falling in love, yet the way he made his depart from the world just seemed inadequate and disappointing, but who am I to mess with a film depicting true life events.

Johnny Depp is definitely the life and soul of the movie and the main reason for watching it. He has admitted that has he has had an interest with John Dillinger since childhood, so he was obviously perfect for the role. We have seen this gifted actor use his charm and magnetism to create many character personalities from Edward Scissorhands and Jack Sparrow to Willie Wonka and Sweeney Todd, he has pulled off roles from either end of the spectrum and earned both critical and popular acclaim for such roles. With the persona of Dillinger, possibly Americans most well known bank robber and a criminal that was able to outsmart authorities on numerous occasions, he was able to immersing himself into the role, put his heart and soul into creating a man with a tough exterior and an inner romantic and honest side. When bringing John Dillinger to the 21st century, Depp does so with a little bit of humour; cocky and confidant comments as well as an attitude to match. If you are not a Depp admirer, then still be excited by great performances by Christian Bale as F.B.I agent Melvin Purvis, Channing Tatum as Pretty Boy Floyd, Giovanni Ribisi as Alvin Karpis and Stephen Dorff as Homer Van Meter to but a few in a long line of exceptional actors.

Whether you are looking for action, adventure or comedy, you cannot go wrong with ‘Public Enemies’ as it has a fabulous cast, setting and director. With death of a hero came the birth of a legend, Depp brings John Dillinger back from the 1930’s.

Michelle Moore