Public Enemies - one of the few Johnny Depp films I don’t like


Public Enemies (USA, 2009)

Seen: Saturday, 8th August 2009
Runtime: 140′
Director: Michael Mann
Cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard
Production House: Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Forward Pass, Misher Films, Tribeca Productions, Appian Way
Plot: (from imdb)

The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.


Impressions In Short
The worst Johnny Depp film I’ve seen in quite some time *sigh* Marion Cotillard was its one redeeming feature.

More About the Film
The main reason I wanted to see this film was Johnny Depp - not just because I like him, but because I trust his choice in projects. But then, if things had gone according to plan, he wouldn’t have done this movie. He was cast when his other projects were postponed because of the writer’s strike. From what I understand, he would have had a big break in any sort of filming had he not taken the project. As very few films were going into production at that time, a lot of Hollywood stars ended up doing different films than they had planned during the strike (imdb says that Marion Cotillard was in the same situation).
There are some very good names in the cast, but Marion Cotillard was the only performance I liked. While I know her by reputation, it was the first time I’ve seen her and I’m definitely keen on seeing more of her. I was really impressed with her American accent - you’d never know she’s not a native speaker.
The rest of the cast underperformed, I thought. The worst disappointment was Christian Bale. I think I’m officially fed up of him at the moment. The kind of projects he chooses and the kind of acting he does lately is just not for me.
Another thing I didn’t like about the film were its visuals. They should have stylized the film as one of those old gangster movies (everyone I watched the film with felt the same way). They sort of tried to do that in some shots, but only went half-way with it. A lot of the time they were going with the current trends in Hollywood and one of those is using shaky shots for action scenes. While I’m a fan of handheld and steadicam, on this film it was completely the wrong style to go with. Some of those shots looked like home video, which just doesn’t work for what is essentially a 1930s gangster story.

No, not really. For me Marion Cotillard was the only good thing about it.

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