DVD review: Public Enemies

By admin
15 January 2012

A gangster movie with Depp in the lead and Bale as the cop who’s after him - it must be good, no? But perhaps it’s because of such high expectations that this film ultimately disappoints. Depp is convincing as charismatic bank robber John Dillinger who caused mayhem during the Great Depression of the previous century but his performance isn’t up to his usual high standard. And few of the other characters have enough substance to sweep you along.

The sets, décor and costumes succeed in taking you back to the ’30s but it’s a pity the story is so superficial. The action scenes come across more like a videogame than the bloody real-life dramas they’re supposed to depict and in which scores of people died. And while it’s gripping to watch how the anti-hero is brought to heel, the love story between Dillinger and Billie Frechette (Cotillard) is too fleeting.

The film is technically brilliant but not in the league of classic gangster flicks such as The Untouchables, the Godfather films or Scarface. Bonus: commentary.

True-life drama. 2009. 133 min. With Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard. Director: Michael Mann. 16V.

Rating: 3/5

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