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Public Enemies (2009)

Director:
Michael Mann
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Crime/Thriller/Drama/
Historical
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Public Enemies
RUNNING TIME
140 minutes
Producer:
Michael Mann
Kevin Misher
Screenwriter (based on a book by Bryan Burrough):
Ronan Bennett
Michael Mann
Add Biderman


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
John Dillinger Johnny Depp
Melvin Purvis Christian Bale
Billie Frechette Marion Cotillard
Pretty Boy Floyd Channing Tatum
Alvin Karpis Giovanni Ribisi
Homer Van Meter Stephen Dorff
J. Edgar Hoover Billy Crudup
Polly Hamilton Leelee Sobieski

 

Review

Michael Mann takes us back to the gritty, anonymous 1930s using the most revealing and edgy in digital technology. His love for hard images and sounds makes Public Enemies a contradictory experience - it bring us closer to the action but farther away from the 1930s. And it's not particularly flattering either. The film also has problems getting us underneath the skin of its protagonist, leaving Depp's slick performance mainly a superficial one, but this was perhaps neither to be expected nor the point. What Mann does here in presenting the legend of the so-called public enemies of the great depression, is letting this legend live on. It's an appealing film which excels at depicting action scenes and bringing life to an conventionally unconventional love story. The latter grows from unconvincing to heartfelt during the course of the film, and Johnny Depp and Marion Cottilard both shine with beauty, even if they are better separately than together. One of the most disappointing aspects of the film, is Mann's failure to link Dillinger's status as a national hero to the hard times of the depression. On the other hand, Billy Crudup's multi-faceted depiction of J. Edgar Hoover is a bonus, and the ending is worthy, from both a historical perspective and an entertainment perspective.

 

Copyright 6.8.2009 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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