In the 1920’s, during the Great Depression, criminals were almost revered as heroes. Men such as John Dillinger, “Baby Face” Nelson, and “Pretty Boy” Floyd were making headlines while engaging in a long string of serious crimes. With pressure from above, J.Edgar Hoover and the FBI finally declare war on the vigilantes.
Johnny Depp (Dillinger), James Russo (Dietrich), David Wenham (Pete), Jason Clarke (Red), Stephen Dorff (Homer), Wesley Walker (Leslie), Elena Kenney (Viola), Channing Tatum (Floyd), Christian Bale (Purvis), Billy Crudup (Hoover), Marion Cotillard (Billie).
Public Enemies begins by jumping straight into the story, focusing attention on John Dillinger. Character development takes place as the story evolves which is really a series of robberies and escapes by Dillinger and his crew. Sidetracks such as Dillinger’s infatuation with Billie and some focus on Purvis keep the film entertaining and the plot moving. The film finally winds down to an ending that was obviously inevitable.
Acting was decent with Depp doing a much better job as Dillinger than one might expect. Bale also did quite nicely and fit his role surprisingly well. Cotillard played well opposite Depp and presented good emotion and depth. The remainder of the supporting cast did well and added good quality to the film.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were nicely done and felt authentic to the period. Sprinkles of black and white newsreel type footage was a nice addition and made the film feel more realistic. Physical effects were well done, again adding a quality feel to the film. Dialogue was solid, moving the story along at a good pace. Sound and soundtrack were both nicely done.
Overall Public Enemies was a nicely done period crime drama with solid technical quality from most every aspect. Coupled with solid acting Public Enemies is an enjoyable, though somewhat content light, crime drama showcasing Dillinger’s life fairly well. Crime or gangster film buffs will enjoy this the most.
With violence, some foul language, blood, and mild sexuality this should be fine for older teens and above.
Public Enemies is no longer showing in any Littleton Colorado movie theatres.
Star rating: 4 out of 5
copyright ©2012 Dave
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