Don’t get mad Wisconsin. I love you. I love the way you look. I love being next to you. I just didn’t feel that a couple scenes of you on the silver screen were enough to save this movie.
Public Enemies is a biopic about the life of notorious folklore legend and vicious bank robber John Dillinger. Johnny Depp plays the lead role with FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) hot on his tail.
If I am to only believe what I saw on screen about Dillinger, I am led to believe that he should be no folk hero. The dialogue he was given is often boring, he wasn’t a shocking personality and his actions are rarely honorable. I was missing a feeling of intensity on several levels.
The interesting subplot of the birth of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover’s direction was buried in the 250 minute runtime.
There were some things I did like. The film is a dark take on the gangster lifestyle. When the bad guys are gunned down (and they are) it’s a very serious moment, as if to suggest that they are destined to die alone, in an ugly way. It created a sense of justice, eliminating feelings that gangsters should be considered folk heroes.
Aesthetically, it was pleasing to see big movie stars hanging out at the Capitol in Madison. Hearing the whispers of people in the theater, pointing out the scenes that were shot in Columbus was also fun. Outside of that, I didn’t think it was memorable film making.
Second opinion: I went with two other people. One thought it was terrible, another felt it has a good classic action feel.