Posted by: Pinar Tarhan | July 23, 2009

Public Enemies

Public Enemies (2009)

Directed by: Michael Mann


       Johnny Depp is John Dillinger. He is smart, fast, loyal to his friends and romantic& sweet to his girl. He robs banks because he just loves the thrill of it. He can escape prison, saves his friends’ from prison and tries not to harm any innocents in the mean time.

The movie involved less robbery scenes than we expected-as one friend put it. It includes more violence than you hope for and it occurs where you don’t really want it. But is it a bad movie? Absolutely not. I love period pieces. I love the glory and the romance of it. Set in the 1930s, Public Enemies offers well-crafted costume design. Johnny Depp is sexy, mischievous and addicted to action as Dillinger. Bale is well…some complain that his acting is flat. But then so is his character. He joins forces with the bureau who is run by Hoover (Billy Crudup) – a man more interested in looking good for the press and getting publicity than justice. Otherwise they would have spent half the effort on other criminals.

Our respect and admiration for Dillinger weakens as he makes mistakes and starts to act more like a pawn than the expert chess player. His weakness and love for his girlfriend (Cotillard) don’t really help him either.

Funnily enough, I have gone to see the movie with two friends and ran across three other friends who happened to be watching it in the theater next to ours. The group of three were disappointed. I turned out to be the only one who thoroughly enjoyed the movie; until the last 15 minutes or so – at least.

The whole John Dillinger myth the movie built was completely destroyed towards the end.

As desperate he was, he made mistakes that he would have seen coming and could have solved.) Still, John is a very interesting character and immensely enjoyable to watch. Recommended.



  1. this movie had so much potential, and yet they didn’t fulfill half of it. nevertheless, it is a good movie. Seems like bit of a waste having Bale do so little with his character though. What you think of Mann’s impression on the film? He had some canny play with light/darkness.

    • I think the movie was visually quite amazing. But the characters seemed a little incomplete, a little off. Apart from Dillinger.
      What I don’t get is what happens to Bale’s character in the end. What the ….?

  2. mmmmm, johnny depp.

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