Kim’s Entertainment Blog

July 5, 2009

Public Enemies

Filed under: Uncategorized — tvlover1 @ 5:14 pm
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Earlier this afternoon I saw the movie Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.  Directed by Michael Mann (The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider, Ali), the movie tells the true story of notorious bank robber John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and the F.B.I. agent, Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) who hunts him down. 

On its surface, this movie has everything going for it: huge stars, authentic locations, and a gripping story.  Sitting through all two and a half hours of the movie reveals that this seemingly winning combination falls short.  Individually each of the actors does a good job.  Johnny Depp is his usual charming self, and Christian Bale definitely has dark and brooding down to a science.  Marion Cotillard, as Dillinger’s love Billie Frechette, is utterly riveting. 

Unfortunately, these characters are the same one-dimensional figures from beginning to end.  There is never any exploration as to what motivated Dillinger or Purvis.  There is a certain enjoyment to be had watching Dillinger and his crew rob banks.  It’s an art form that Dillinger takes great pleasure in, particularly when asked by a reporter how long it takes him to go through a bank and he answers “about 1 minute and 40 seconds.  Flat.”  Why does he take such pleasure in it?  Why does he appear to be a noble robber, not wanting people to get hurt and not taking any of the customers’ money?  It got to be more and more irritating waiting for answers that were clearly not forthcoming. 

Why was Purvis so commited to finding Dillinger?  Was it a deep-rooted sense of justice, or was Dillinger just the frustrating man that kept getting away and embarrassing Purvis?  I don’t even think Christian Bale had a sense of what motivated his character.

All in all, this movie wasn’t really worth the 2.5 hours I sat in the theatre.  The air-conditioner, particularly on this hot day, was refreshing, but that was about it!

And you, dear readers?  What did you think of the movie?


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