Michael Mann’s latest biopic – Public Enemies – about the infamous 1930’s bank robber, John Dillinger, is well done.
This should come as no surprise. The combination of a fascinating story (albeit a somewhat superficial one) about one of America’s most successful criminals, Johnny Depp’s always-fantastic acting (although not his best performance), solid action complete with era-appropriate props and accessories (i.e. tommy-guns, bad@ss suits, sweet cars, etc), and generally effective cinematography all lend to the Public Enemies’ success.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is one of my favorite gangster flicks (in fact, it’s not even close), but it’s definitely worth a viewing. There is just something so satisfying about seeing a bunch of guys go after each other (and the Bureau of Investigation – i.e. the FBI before the F) with vintage machine guns and classic-classic cars. Ahh, the good ol’ days.
However, I’m not going to lie. I was hoping to leave the theater feeling blown away, but I didn’t. As good as this film is, it doesn’t have nearly the impact as say There Will Be Blood and never quite manages to cross the threshold into greatness, but it is still a worthwhile movie-going experience.