Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Public Enemies

Yeah I don't think there's such a thing as a bad Michael Mann film centered around bank robberies.

It's been a minute since I've seen this movie. I did see it in theaters when I was 14 and even owned it on video but it's been awhile since I sat down and watched it again. It's as good as I remember it, a very non-romanticized account of notorious bank robber John Dillinger being pursued by the still forming FBI and it's G-men. I can't remember exactly what drew me to see the movie back then, both me and my mom were big Johnny Depp fans and the advertising media looked pretty good, and I don't hear anybody talk about it nowadays. It's pretty good though, if you're familiar with Michael Mann's work then no doubt you'll want to see it, and it does have some fine star power. Basically if you loved Heat then you should check this movie out, it kind of has some similar concepts here and there and the action scenes are shot really well. I do have to give big credit to the production team, it really does look and feel like 1930s America with the fashion, cars, and events, it just looks absolutely great. There's a lot of handheld footage in this movie even outside of shootouts, but it's not at all shaky cam and the director obviously knew how to get his shots, so the gunplay is damn good. The movie also does a fine job of getting you to sympathize with the criminal, Johnny Depp really brings his charm and affability to the role and while he robs banks and does shoot down cops, you do want to see him reach his goal of retirement with his girlfriend. I bought the chemistry between Johnny and Marion Cotillard, and it services the story's enjoyment but it's nothing too grand to write home about. It is pretty interesting to also see her and Christian Bale in scenes together about 3 years before The Dark Knight Rises and he does great work, with the film splitting almost entirely in half between these two guy's performances. The soundtrack is mostly music of the era which is nice but the main theme for Dillinger is more recent, and while I will fully admit it's a great song and one I immediately got after seeing the film, if you really listen to the lyrics it don't got much to do with bank robbing. Though it's still a strong song with an unfortunate but all too real subject matter. All in all it was great seeing this movie again and to see it holds up quite well, it's by no means Mann's best work but it shouldn't be disregarded. There's plenty to like and actually would make a great introduction to his body of work, so I do recommend this movie. I give it 3 stars, 7.5/10, and no doubt we'll have a real banger tomorrow so I'll see you down the road.

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