Monday, July 6, 2009

Mann Messed Up

Public Enemies 76/100 "B"

"Johnny Depp is magnetic as usual and the movie is well crafted however it lacks necessary intensity."

Mann's Public Enemies has notably polarized critics, many calling it a stellar crime epic others stating its weakness as a dramatic film. Obviously I walked into PE very wearily. The film comes off as less of a crime epic in my opinion and as somewhat of a crime drama/biopic of the life and times of famous bank robber John Dillinger, portrayed by my favourite actor Johnny Depp. In this respect it succeeds in filming the last days of Dillingers life with careful attention to design and action scene choreography.

So on the biopic end, it passes. However on the crime drama side of things...I wonder. Dillinger really is properly made into a threat throughout the entire movie, this is true, however one can't really capture a sense of what he really is to them. A hero? A villain? Just another robber? The staying power of the movie is arguable. Depp has garnered mixed reviews for his silently intense portrayal as Dillinger, and I suppose I can see why, however I do believe he's on his "A" game in this film, Mann put heavy focus on him and Depp definetly earned the attention. Bale is always a delight in movies, however once again he is grossly underused. Marion Collitard is a talented woman but she too is underused in loo of Depp's Dillinger.

To be honest, the movie is pretty good. Everybody noticeably worked very hard on it, the lines are sharp, the acting is solid and the narrative is well Mannworthy. However the film just doesn't captivate you like it should considering all the talent and effort involved. And I mean crime drama need to be intense, not necessarily gritty or dark but still gripping and thrilling. The movie just doesn't do that effectively. Basically, I liked the film but am a bit disappointed.