Wilson County News
Richardson Chevrolet homeRE/MAX homeTNMC
Wilson County News • 1012 C St • Floresville • TX • 78114 • Ph: 830-216-4519 • Fax: 830-393-3219 • Email:
Friday, Aug 29, 2014
Login
Not a subscriber? Click here.
Are you a WCN subscriber?
Set up your password.

 
E-Mail
Password
  Remember me
 
  Forgot password?
La Vernia News
Google
Google

Preview the Paper
Preview this week's Paper
WCN Medical Guide
WCN Real Estate Guide
Eagle Ford Directory
WCN PHOTOS big blue button
Wilson County News Subscribe Today
Newspapers In Education home
WCN Coupons

Movie Reviews

Johnny Depp plays it straight in ‘Public Enemies’


Johnny Depp plays it straight in ‘Public Enemies’


E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Neil Pond
American Profile
July 21, 2009
2398 views
Post a comment

Public Enemies / Starring Johnny Depp / Rated R

Johnny Depp is dapper Depression-era desperado John Dillinger in the new bullet-riddled re-telling of the story of America’s first “public ememy No. 1” and the FBI’s obsession with bringing him in, dead or alive.

Depp, who’s demonstrated his eagerness to slide into some fairly eccentric roles in movies like “Edward Scissorhands,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” plays it straight for a change as the stylish 1930s bank robber, who loved the ladies, living on the edge and emptying the vaults of financial institutions across the Midwest.

But Christian Bale plays it even straighter as federal agent Melvin Purvis, the all-business, nose-to-the-grindstone sharpshooter handpicked by J. Edgar Hoover to put an end to Dillinger’s crime spree.

French actress Marion Cotillard is Dillinger’s girlfriend, Billie Frenchette, a barely-getting-by coat-check girl who falls for the dashing gangster and his promises of taking her away to a better life. The 1920s hit “Bye, Bye Blackbird” becomes the theme song to their love story.

Director Michael Mann gets all the details just right, from the thunderous rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns to the clattery din of the elevated trains outside Billie’s Chicago apartment. He spends a lot of time on the little things that let you know where, and when, you are--the lighted face of a bedside AM radio, the trim on a getaway car, the dial on old rotary pay phone. He completely immerses you in Dillinger’s world.

Mann also adheres to the historical facts of Dillinger’s well-documented tapestry of brazen daylight heists, gritty shootouts and improbable jailbreaks, and addresses how Dillinger became a folk hero revered by the much of the working-class public for sticking it to the banks, the institutional villains of the day.

Too bad the movie’s fine craftwork is applied on the surface of such a hollow shell. Both Dillinger and Purvis are frustratingly one-dimensional; we’re never shown even a glimpse into how--or why--either of these “public enemies” came to be. There’s a great story there, but you won’t find it here. For a movie about such a bedeviling character and the wild-ride life he led, “Public Enemies” has surprisingly little drive, dramatic tension or emotional heft.

Technically, the movie also hits a few potholes, especially in a chaotic nighttime ambush in which it’s impossible to keep track of who’s shooting whom, and in several scenes with dialogue that’s inaudibly muddy.

“Public Enemies” won’t win any awards. But it’s a decent grown-up summer popcorn movie, especially for females who’d like to spend two hours with Johnny Depp as a bad boy from a bygone cops ’n’ robbers era, one that certainly wasn’t anything near as romantic as Hollywood has always made it seem.
 


Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!

You must be logged in to post comments:



Other Movie Reviews


Triple R DC Experts
Heavenly Touch home
Allstate & McBride Realty
Blue Moon Karaoke & DJ
La Vernia Hammerfest
Voncille Bielefeld home

KC Custom Homes
Caraway Ford
Pat Brown Realtors, Inc. home
Abrego Lake
Sacred Heart School home
Wilson County Meat Market complimentary
WC Relay For Life home
Sherwood Surveying
Pursch Motors
Wilsons Auto Chooser right
John D. Foster home
Drama Kids International
WCN Photo Contest home
Floresville EDC
Hoelschers home
Shorty's Place
 
^Top
  Copyright © 2014 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.
^Top