Saturday, March 13, 2010

Public Enemies (2009) R - 3½ Stars

Based on the book by Bryan Burrough's - Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI from 1933-34. The movie has some great action and portrays the glamorous side of the mob. From their arrogant thinking they can have what they want, their confidence that nothing can touch them, and their chic style of dress as they hold up banks in broad daylight. The acting is great and you believe you have lost yourself in another era. It was nice to see Depp in this serious role after all the comedies he's done lately. I think he makes a good Dillinger and the casting was great all around with good action and entertainment.

In the height of his career, John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), was unstoppable. Even if he was caught, there wasn't a jail around that could hold him for very long. J. Edgar Hoover's (Billy Crudup) FBI was just starting to form mainly because of gangsters like Dillinger. It was a perfect opportunity to practice their techniques because if they could stop Dillinger, it enforced their credibility. The cops felt helpless in stopping Dillinger or members of his gang like Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham), and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi). Always charming, he was noted as America's first Public Enemy Number One. People looked up to Dillinger, almost pegging him as a hero, as he robbed the banks that many felt responsible for causing the Great Depression.

FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), is dead set on bringing Dillinger to gas chamber. But constantly being outsmarted by Dillinger, he enlists the help of many Western ex-lawmen making them deputies so he can cover all angles and even uses acts of betrayal with Dillinger's girlfriend Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard), to close in.

Universal Pictures
Director: Michael Mann
Writers: Michael Mann, Ann Biderman, Mark St. Germain
Producers: Kevin Misher, Michael Mann, Jane Rosenthal
I viewed 12/09

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