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Public Enemies June 26, 2009

Posted by Alichat in Life, Movies.
Tags: , , , ,

Abby, Mere, and I saw a sneak preview of Johnny Depp’s Public Enemies last night.  It was shown at one of our locally owned theatres, which seem to be getting in on the movie preview bandwagon.  It’s the same theatre we attend to see the midnight showing of the latest Harry Potter films.  I always thought it would be cool to own a movie theatre.  Plus, they serve beer at this theatre.  Booyah!  Support your local theatres!  Ok…I’ve digressed enough.  So, Public Enemies, saw it tonight, and I was really excited to see it because it’s a Johnny Depp film.  Johnny Depp…..you have to love the man.  He oozes cool. 

I was not familiar with the story of John Dillinger.  I know the name, along with the other public enemies from the film, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson.   But I was unaware of their exact exploits, and just knew they were bank robbers.  This movie, while intricate, is highly entertaining, and gives a balanced portrayal of both sides in the story.  Dillinger isn’t painted as a martyred hero or an inately bad man, and neither is Purvis.  It begins in the early 1930s.  The US is in the midst of the Great Depression.  There is no FBI, and J Edgar Hoover, portrayed with skeevish glee by Billy Crudup, is attempting to make his Bureau of Investigation a Federal organization.  Hoover knows how to PR, and decides to use Dillinger’s exploits to further his goals, by naming him as America’s first Public Enemy #1.  He places Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) in charge of the Chicago office with the sole task of capturing Dillinger.  What follows is their hunting and eventual capture of Floyd, Nelson, and Dillinger.  Dillinger (Johnny Depp), popular with the public, was charming and daring, apparently in possession of a “pair of brass balls.”  (That’s what Johnny Depp said tonight on Letterman.  Check it out….great interview!)  Dillinger’s exploits gained him the title of  the ‘Robin Hood’ of his time, as he supposedly gave some of his stolen money to families in need. 

To put forth this roller coaster ride, Public Enemies employs an amazing, and sometimes surprising, cast.  Look for Channing Tatum, Emilie de Ravin, Leelee Sobieski, Diana Krall, and Lili Taylor’s small but significant roles.  Christian Bale does a great job of portraying the driven Melvin Purvis.  While you don’t learn alot about his history or personal life, Bale conveys Purvis’ confliction over his new job and growing public persona with pained and subtle expressions.  Johnny Depp was enthralling in this film, charismatic and polarizing as Dillinger.  Filling out the cast is Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, David Wenham, Jason Clarke, Stephen Dorff, Rory Cochrane, Giovanni Ribisi, and so many others it would take too long to name them.  It’s a fast paced, entertaining ride that will leave your ears ringing and your retina’s burned from all the Tommy gunfire and muzzle flash.  I’d forgotten what it sounded like in a movie.



1. Joelle - July 7, 2009

Oohhh, love your review! It’s next on list of movies to watch. :o)

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