Movie Review: Public Enemies: Johnny Depp, Marion Courtillard. Christian Bale) 2009

Posted: November 11, 2012 in Drama
Tags: ,

John Dillinger (Depp) served 10 years in an Indiana prison for stealing 50 dollars, he engineered an escape from that prison that cost the life of Walter Dietrich. (James Ruso) After breaking out of jail, he settles in Chicago with Evelyn Franchette (Coutillard) a half French, half Native American woman.  He formes his second gang, featuring most notably “Baby Face “Nelson (Stephen Graham)  The gang starts robbing banks, until caught in Tucson Arizona and extradited and jailed in Indiana where he promptly stole the car of Sherriff Lillian Holley  (Lilly Taylor)  Dillinger’s jailbreak frustrates Melvin Purvis, (Bale), the FBI under J Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) has put Purvis in charge of catching Dillinger.  Purvis asks the FBI for more agents from Oklahoma and Texas. who don’t exactly go by the book.  The feds trap Dillinger in The Little Bohemian Lodge, but again Dillinger escapes.  Finally, the FBI cultivates an informant, Anna Sage (Branka Katic) who’s a friend of Dillinger’s new girlfriend Polly Hamilton (Leelee Sobieski).Anna tells Purvis that Dillinger will be at the Biograph theater watching a Clark Gable gangster movie.  Does the FBI finally kill Dillinger?

This movie has been praised by critics for its accuracy. But according to the facts I’ve read, it got at least two facts wrong.  The deaths of Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd did not occur before Dillinger, in fact both outlived Dillinger.  Michael Mann gets too caught up in the romance between Dillinger and Franchette. and almost forgets that Dillinger was an infamous bank robber. .I realize that Depp and Cotillard are big stars but does Mann really have to satiate their egos quite that much?  The acting is just so-so.

Depp plays Dillinger as taciturn and moody, not the gregarious populist that the real Dillinger was supposed to be Coutillard is beautiful, but her French accent gets in the way, and the accent only gets thicker as the movie goes on.  Bale gives the same brutally intense performance that he always gives as the Dark Knight, as John Connor, as this guy Purvis, he only seems to know one speed.  The movie

is too long, and never does come together as one cohesive movie, it tries to be part romance, part historical drama and part action movie. It fails on all accounts.

Public Enemies  Love your enemies, but hate this movie.


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