Monday, July 6, 2009

Public Enemies

I knew a little about Dillinger when I went into this movie, and I was surprised at how accurate it was to his life. Don’t think that it is a true biopic though; they did fudge quite a few things, but nothing too important. All of the cool events of Dillinger’s life are there, and done and stylized to the max that one could expect. Depp did an excellent job with the character, brining his own interpretation—and it’s one that’s always fun to watch. Bale on the other hand, did not have much to work with, but did not even do a good job with it. He spent most of the movie forcing a Southern accent that never came across natural. I think everyone left the theatre knowing he was capable of more.

Most of the reviews for this movie bash it for not having a point. Moreover, it does not paint a picture of who Dillinger was: either a folk hero type of Robin Hood, or a vicious robber and killer. I don’t think that was what Mann was trying to do with this movie, but it is going to take some explaining.

Being that it takes place during the Great Depression, there was an attitude that was very against the banks and financial institutions, and that is what I think made Dillinger into somewhat of a folk hero, but he also kills quite a few people, and some innocent. The FBI is guilty of their own wrongdoings, and not the great law enforcing center of justice. They are sometimes also painted as merely protecting the banks money. However, Mann does not set up a clear line of right and wrong, so what we have is a smart tale of two clashing historic figures; Purvis and Dillinger, in a land where morals and ethics are quite flexible, and both sides pushing conflicting ideals. There are only a few drawbacks, and the big one is that the movie is somewhat anti-climactic. But I think Mann’s hands were a bit tied by historical fact, and he did the best with it.

All in all: Hold ‘Em Up & Hunt ‘Em Down

Lives up to the pre-views? Better

Stars (out of five): 4


1 comment:

$teve said...

But the big question remains. Is it Heat 2 set during the Great Depression? Is there a final ginormous shootout scene where Depp screams out repeatedly, "WHERE'S THE VAN??? IT SHOULD BE HERE!!! WHERE'S THE F**KING VAN???" That's what I want in a Michael Mann movie. :)