Thursday, July 9, 2009

Public Enemies

I would not have known this was a Michael Mann movie if I did not see his movie listed on the advertisement. It is good to see a Johnny Depp in a movie that does not involve sail boats and talking skeletons. He plays the real life gangster John Dillinger. Hollywood has depicted every other outlaw in gangster lore, next up is this charismatic murdered. Atleast he was not glorified like Billy the Kidd was in Young Guns I or II. Mann portaryed Dillinger as the ruthless thug he was.

The movie begins with Dillinger and his psycho co-horts escaping from a desert prison. I do not understand why the tower guard did not get off more shots since he had the high ground and cover? Oh well. He does get one strike. Dillinger's brother dies in the escape and this gives Mann the chance to show the audience how odious Dillinger is. Dillinger blames this incident on one of the escapees and kicks him out of the movie vehicle after punching him a few times. This movie seemed to very fast moving. The dialogue was fast and the scenes were jumpy.

Dilinger and his badass brethren forced the US government to create a federal task force. This soon or immediately morphed into the FBI. Since Dillinger and his bank robbing buddies were jumping state lines. I do not blame them. Hard to believe the private sector is ahead of the government in ideas.

The hero is presented to us at this point. Here comes Batman's Christian Bale who happens to play Batman. Bale is busy these days but it still unnerving to me that Terminator Salvation was a halfway meltdown. I mean the ending had Arnold being the size of the Hulk, just stop it. This movie went over the top as well though with the Tommy Gun. They made this movie seem like it was three M-16's in one. The sound was terribly loud, it was an automatic weapon but it was not that ferocious.

Melvin Purvis is the Wyatt Earp of this film is Bale's part. I was impressed a little with Bale's accent change. He did sound of a midwesterner and concealed his English accent pretty good. Moving on, Purvis is granted wide ranging authority to pursue and perhaps shoot down Dillinger and his terrorizing bandits.

Dillinger is receiving his intel from Giovanni Ribisi's Alvin Karpis's character. Karpis meets him in public places and offers him information that could lead to a promising and clean get away. If there is a shipment of $100's of thousands of dollars, Karpis tips Dillinger off of this. Whether or not Dillinger acts on this information is up to him.

Purvis's men use their sharp investigative techniques and capture Dillinger. Dillinger is transfered to a prison in Indiana since it seems the powers at be believe Dillinger's captivity near Chicago would create a media frenzy. Well, in Indiana, Dillinger escapes with the help of his lawyer's arguing tactics and loyal friends. They bust him lose and Dillinger responds robbing another bank. This escapes allows further mayhem on the streets and allows for more innocent folks to be killed.

Dillinger falls in love and the movie is sidetracked with this. This lengthens the movie and waters it down. These scenes are boring and have been done in so many other movies. Totally unorginal, the ending occuring in mid stride. Purvis recruits further G-men as they are called and the hunt is on. The cat and mouse is somewhat interesting. Dillinger is excellent at escaping from prisons but he spends money as fast as it comes in and does not seem to want to take his cash down to Mexico and live comfortably ever after. How about Panama? Whatever. He remains in the same area living with his head on a swivel when he can not even relax and watch a movie without sensing some heat.

Purvis and his boys track Dillinger and his outlaws to a forest cabin after another brazen bank robbery. Purvis and his co workers run them down and shoot all of them it seems accept Dillinger. Dillinger is eventually gunned down in the street after leaving another theatre. He must have enjoyed movies as much as I do. Too bad Transformers II was not playing in the early 1930's.

The movie was hard to follow and at times as dry as a roasted chestnut.

Glad I did not pay for this film. Dillinger's girlfriend was nothing to go gaga over which is another indication of this movie being nothing to holler over. Bale's 2008 Dark Knight is still carrying him among many other spectacular movies. This is not one of them. Wolverine, Star Trek, are some of the high marks of the year.

I allocate this movie two stars.**

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