When I hear the name John Dillinger, I think smooth, strategist, and legendary: the Robin Hood of the 1930’s. During a time when people didn’t trust banks, much like now, Dillinger was a criminal turned celebrity. Director Michael Mann, who brought us Heat, which combined top dogs Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, has done it again with actors Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.
Public Enemies refers to the many men who were wanted for the crime sprees during the economic depression. Considered the most dangerous of them all was a farm boy from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Bale plays Melvin Pervis, the skilled FBI agent assigned to take down Depp, who plays Dillinger. Depp impressively portrays Dillinger’s disdain for the law to the point where it makes you empathize with him.
The cast is stacked, ranging from Channing Tatum and Billy Crudup, to 2008 Oscar winner Marion Cotillard who plays Dillinger’s love interest. Dillinger, who is played by Depp, seduces Cotillard with his suave, bad boy ways. So ladies, you won’t be disappointed, and guys, you could learn a thing or two.
His smooth manner was seen in the trailer, when he said, “I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, and you. What else you need to know?” Every woman in the theater seemed captivated.
This film has you rooting for the bad guy from start to finish. Who doesn’t like that? Deception and trickery throughout the film keep you on the edge of your seat- literally. When a police task force is created and their sole purpose for existing is to catch Dillinger, this task is easier said than done.
Some people may ask, “If I know nothing about the story of John Dillinger, will I still like it?” Well, I know this crime/gangster film is worth seeing either way. When looking for a cop versus criminal face-off, Michael Mann is your man. He has proven himself worthy of this genre over the years, and made it even more intriguing with a love story.
If you are expecting overly shaky camera work that makes you want to puke, don’t worry- the camera shots, gunfight scenes and costumes are all cohesive with the story line and the time period. Also, Public Enemies has a soundtrack that adds to the emotional intensity of some scenes.
If Tommy guns, bank robbing, fast cars, bad boys, and sexy love stories entertain you, Public Enemies is your kind of film. So ladies and gentleman, get your tickets stat because Depp is back, and he is taking names in this thrilling crime-filled drama.