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Public Enemies

Movie Public Enemies
Director Michael Mann

Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard

Public enemies tells the story of the infamous bank robber John Dillinger, from his work, love, to how he met his end. Depp plays Dillinger with a swagger and a belief that he can't be stopped or controlled, that he was meant for greatness. Marion Cotillard plays the love of his life Billie who gets swept off her feet in this common belief of Dillingers invulnerability. J. Edgar Hoover is becoming anxious and put under more pressure to end this reign of the bank robber, so he creates a team of "G-men" to hunt and arrest Dillinger's gang. This unit is led by Melvin Purvis played by Christian bale as a hardened straight laced lawman with no ambition other than to arrest Dillinger. Purvis realises quickly enough as his men continue to die in attempts to catch Dillinger that he doesn't have the tactical awareness to bring him in so inlists the aid of specialists, to hunt down the bankrobbers and kill them. Things turn ugly. Depp portrays Dillinger as he was perceived, and doesn't bring any humanity to the character beyond the hype. Of course we are all led to believe Dillinger believed in his own superiority, but a man who has lived the life he had displaying no fear or regret? So Dillinger was a sociopath? I think he was just a man, who robbed banks, but neither Mann nor Depp Allowed us to see anything like that. Instead we are treated to hours of bravado and murder, and eventually a pointless death. The scene in the theatre where Dillinger looks at Clark Gable with what he perceived as a kinship and shared boyish garish style is well put together but is typical of this portrayal of Dillinger. If you can look past that the film isn't bad at all, the scenes are well put together and the locations and outfits are all believably dated. Although Bale is plastic enough, Depp is well suited to what Mann was trying to achieve and the runaway performance of course comes from the stunning Cotillard as we've come to expect, her acting abilities are matched only by her beauty. The supporting cast were chosen admirably, and a special mention to Billy Crudup for bringing an anxious J. Edgar Hoover to life. The relationship between Dillinger and Billie are of course key and works very well. I honestly wish they'd given more attention to how they wanted to adapt the story and script but this is honestly a likable biopic which takes you almost everywhere a movie of such importance should.

This movie scores 7.8/10