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Public Enemies

Public Enemies (2009) Michael Mann

Michael Mann is at it again with PUBLIC ENEMIES – the story of Melvin Purvis hunting down the Robin Hood-like, bank robber figure John Dillinger in 1933. Or, that should have been the story. But here we have Dillinger and Dillinger topped with some Dillinger with a little Purvis on the side which is fine when all is said and done. However, I think it would have been a stronger film if it was told from the perspective of Purvis hunting Dillinger. You could tie in modern goings on in politics with Hoover and all his mad shenanigans. It would have been a little more interesting and the pace could have been a lot better bouncing between Dillinger almost getting caught and Purvis hot on his heals. I’d let the editor loose a little more, chopping out some of the sequences and plot points that really didn’t need to be driven home quite as much.

All that aside, ENEMIES still a great film. Once you resign yourself to the pace and the fact that Purvis is a side note, you can bask in all the Michael Mann glory. The film does deliver some goodness for sure. Tommy Guns, car chases, awesome clothes and set design and some truly gripping, “GET OUT OF THERE, JOHN DILLINGER!” moments that make the film worth a full price ticket without regret.

Depp and Bale don’t have a lot of screen time, which is a shame. The small amount of time they do share crackles with energy. It would have been fantastic to see them interact more.

And, did I mention the Tommy Guns? We’re not talking gunfights as fantastic as Mann’s HEAT, but they are pretty damn fantastic. Flaring weapons wielded with fury by clean suited, dapper cops and robbers. Now that’s a good time.

Marion Cotillard ( La vie en rose ) does a great job as Dillingers “maul” Billie Frechette, but that particular storyline muddies the waters a bit and tends to drag the pace down to a crawl at times. While interesting, it seemed misplaced.
Good energy, well played and pretty – check out PUBLIC ENEMIES for a good period action drama…with Tommy Guns!

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2 Responses to "Public Enemies"

  1. shana says:

    Yah, would like to have seen a little more development of Pervis.

    Standing on cars shooting was cool.

    Did a good job of putting you in the place of it all.

  2. Francis says:

    Another on my list of films.

    Tommy guns! Fun unless you are on the receiving end.

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