Thursday, July 23, 2009
Public Enemies: Review
I don't have a lot of say about the new Johnny Depp movie, Public Enemies. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't particularly exciting either. Johnny Depp expertly plays former FBI's most wanted criminal John Dillinger, who robbed banks in the midwest during the early thirties. He escaped from prison and police repeatedly, and based on a Wikipedia search, most of the movie seems remarkably accurate. As any reader of this blog will know, I enjoy learning little historical things from movies, and this movie was chock full of those. First, the FDIC was created in 1933 to protect money people put in banks, and John Dillinger started robbing banks in 1933 so even though his legend says that he gave back their money to anyone who was in the bank when he robbed it, the money was probably insured anyway. Second, the FBI had very little part in national crime solving beyond the mafia at the time, but thanks to Dillinger robbing banks in many states and confounding local law enforcement, and J. Edgar Hoover of course, the FBI's authority grew to stop interstate crime waves.
Okay, so back to the movie. Johnny Depp was terrific, both chilling and charming. He was loyal to his gang of criminals and his love, Marion Cotillard. I didn't think she had any sort of consistent southern American accent. Her acting was good, but she couldn't really escape the french accent problem to me. Also, my other gripe with the movie was the sound. They played A LOT of music in the background and I often had trouble understanding the dialogue behind the ambient noise or music. The supporting cast was good, the G-men trying to capture him, and the sets and props were awesome - it really felt very 1930s in all the costumes, hair, dialogue etc. Overall, not a bad movie, but not great either. 3 of 5 stars/lambs
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