Public Enemies

Public Enemies

Director: Michael Mann
Writer: Michael Mann, Ronan Bennett and Ann Biderman
Released: 2009
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, Stephen Lang

After reading the blurb on the back of the $9.99 DVD I was preparing myself for a mind-numbing 143 minutes of car chases and gunfire. With such an instant dislike you may wonder why I bothered rescuing this film from the bargain bin. Well, I put my faith in Johnny Depp’s reputation of being in the best of films.

public enemies gunfire

Three words; Way. Friggin’. Cool. The car chases were not boring (possibly for the simple reason that the 1930s cars are wicked!) and the gun fire had consequences. i.e. it wasn’t random gunfire for the most part – some bullets did actually collide with people or surroundings, which is always a bonus.

John Dillinger mug shot

The real John Dillinger

Public Enemies is a true account of John Dillinger’s (Depp) bank robberies, successes and being on the constant run from the cops during the depression of 1933-34. Despite it being rather difficult to distinguish many of the male characters during the dimmer scenes due to their very similar wardrobe, the characters were pretty well rounded and before you knew it, you were rooting for the ‘baddies’. You know the writers and film makers have done their job when you end up supporting the murdering protagonists. It’s like Dillinger is perceived as a superhero villain/rock star… He’s the dark superstar of the 1930s.

Depp as Dillenger

Depp as Dillenger

This action thriller is fantastic because it did happen which makes all of the gasping and gob-smacking moments even more appropriate. However, after doing about ten-minutes worth of research after watching the film, I realised that they embellished the love-interest and missed out the hugest mystery of all; the question mark over Dillinger’s death!

Apparently there was a look alike named Jimmy Lawrence who was a petty thief who becameĀ Dillinger’s alias in Chicago, and because John Dillinger burned his fingers with acid to remove his fingerprints, the post-mortem was inconclusive despite the FBI closing the case – possibly to save any more embarrassment in relation to the long chase. I think they should have included that, and laid off on the love interest of Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard) a tad.

The filming and lighting was FANTASTIC! It was mostly hand-held with slow motion shots that made chills go down your spine and incredible shadows which created the entire mood.

“What keeps you up at night?”

Jodie’s rating: 7.5/10

About NZ Film Freak

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. Currently working in marketing, and writing fiction in my spare time. I love to write about movies on this blog when I can. I also do paid reviews and voiceovers via Fiverr (nzfilmfreak).
This entry was posted in action, All Film Reviews, Guys' Night In and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Public Enemies

  1. Popeye says:

    This is a great film and of course, there could be a mystery over the killing of Dillinger. Was it, wasn’t it? Great film, good review. Two thumbs up!

  2. Pingback: Edward Scissorhands | The Film Freak of NZ

  3. Pingback: Goodbye, 2012! | The Film Freak of NZ

  4. Pingback: Gangster Squad | The Film Freak of NZ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s