Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cheap Seat Review: Public Enemies

Public Enemies, with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, is a mediocre film. I'm a fan of both actors, and this wasn't either's best performance. Bale in particular seemed like he was reading straight from the script, and I didn't buy his performance until the last scene.

For the better part of the movie, the actors worked with a backdrop of silence. A soundtrack engages emotions and heightens dramatic moments. As it was, I didn't connect with the characters until the final five minutes, when they cued the music. It was too little, too late. I'd already spent two and a half hours trying to care about Dillinger and his ilk.

There were some misleading scenes, as well. I got the impression that it was during this time, 1930-35, that the FBI was formed and that John Dillinger's nationwide spree of bank robberies was a catalyst. He was one of their high-profile captures, and the statewide police force was renamed to the current FBI (formerly known as just the Bureau of Investigation) during this time. However, the two are not quite as closely linked as the movie would have you believe.

The bank robberies were unimpressive. Men with guns enter banks, force the manager to open the safe, stuff canvas bags with money, then drive away with guns blazing. Same thing every time. According to Wikipedia, Dillinger was actually quiet creative with his methods of monetary accumulation.

All in all, it wasn't a terrible movie, but you can probably find a better one.

Rating: Save It

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