After months of anticipation, July 1st marked the opening day for Public Enemies, the gangster, crime thriller directed and written by Michael Mann starting Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard.
This film focuses on the cat and mouse game between John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), the notorious 1930’s bank robber and up and coming FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). Unfortunately, this film leaves you with nothing more then empty mouse traps and missing cheese. From the opening jail break sequence, to the last man standing standoff, this film disappoints.
In an attempt to provide the audience with an authentic viewing experience, Michael Mann and his team of writers fell short on character development, climactic story writing and fail to answer some of the most basic questions the audience is left with. Is this the Great Depression? Why did John Dillinger rob banks? Is Melvin Purvis the good guy or a hyped-up vigilante? After watching for 2.5 hours, I still don’t have the answers.
This movie does offer well choreographed action sequences, and Johnny Depp does a fantastic job bringing John Dillinger to the big screen; however the free-hand filming technique, length, and lack of overall approach make capturing the most notorious bank robber of the 20th century fall short.
Skip this one in theaters, watch it on DVD.