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Public Enemies


(Before anything else, let me just say that this is the best man-crush movie this year.)

Sadly, Michael Mann did not give me what I was expecting. A biography is totally different from a historical narrative. One is character-driven; the other is plot-driven. From the onset, it becomes clear that this movie is a biography of John Dillinger (since that is what the story focuses on) and not some cops-and-robbers tale. So they should have told more of John Dillinger, since he really was a colorful character anyway. And I blame Michael Mann because he co-wrote the screenplay.

But Michael Mann redeems himself by giving the coolest movie shoot-out since Heat. If there were a lot more shoot-out scenes, this film too could get an Oscar nomination for sound design. Just the brat-ta-tat-tat of the machine guns in digital surround makes this worthwhile.

Public Enemies has two of my favorite actors going head-to-head. This isn't like American Gangster, where the two powerhouse leads didn't have a scene together until the film's final minutes. Johnny Depp and Christian Bale actually talk face-to-face. Not a lot, but still. It's better than Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

Now you may think that Depp and Bale will cancel each other out onscreen, both being terrific actors and all. But such is not the case. When cast side by side, Depp comes out on top. Although I admire Bale for his unorthodox acting methods, it is apparently Johnny Depp who is the better actor. Or maybe because this is Depp's movie. I'm not really sure.

Christian Bale is good as always, although his attempt at the southern dialect sounds...unnatural. Sorry.

Also, at the end credits, there's a dialect coach for Ms. Cotillard, and a dialect coach for Mr. Bale. And none for Mr. Depp. Because Mr. Depp doesn't need a dialect coach.

Marion Cotillard is really, really pretty. And, like Yao Ming, her English is getting better. Hooray for Marion Cotillard, who is now my favorite French actress after Sophie Marceau.

On to the supporting cast: 1) Billy Crudup made J. Edgar Hoover look gay. 2) I didn't recognize Stephen Dorff. 3) Giovanni Ribisi was good. And 4) Stephen Graham was so effective as Baby Face Nelson that I hated him.

Oh, and also: Mr. Dillinger and Mr. Depp are both nicknamed "Johnny", and they both have the initials "J.D." Useless trivia for you.


*some info from IMDb
pic from matchcuts.wordpress.com


Public Enemies
. USA. 2009.


Rating: Seven out of ten.
Marion Cotillard's English: Eight out of ten.

4 comments :

Claire said...

I need to watch this. It's not everyday that Depp acts "normal." Hahahaha.

True haha. Depp is always weird. Like me. Chos!

Zach said...

I would let Johnny Depp take advantage of me.

^And I would let Christian Bale take advantage of me.

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