Public Enemies was a good movie, that’s all it was though. It wasn’t spectacular or even great, but it was good. I haven’t seen a movie in theaters since Up and I had been anticipating this movie for a while. What I got was good, but I’m disappointed to say that I expected a lot more and there’s not a doubt in my mind that a lot of people will say the same. And when I use the word ‘people’ I didn’t just mean the public, I also meant critics as well. Most of the public will be expecting to see a well acted action movie. Most critics, and myself as well, will be expecting a cat and mouse drama, which it was, it just wasn’t as great a one as it could have been.
After viewing Public Enemies, I walked out of the theater a little disappointed, mainly because of my abnormally high expectations, and I was trying to think of the best word or phrase to describe the film. After a few days I came up with a single word. I found Public Enemies to be rather dry. It seriously lacked in the innovation that this film needed in order to be great. There are so many crime dramas out there and this one was telling a story that needed to be told. It had great characters and events to work with, but throughout the movie, it just seemed that they weren’t using them to their advantage.
I mainly blame this on the writer. The dialogue and tension was lacking to the point of extreme boredom at times and this is not a story I should be bored in. The director did a pretty good job in my opinion through detail and camera work. Michael Mann did succeed in making this movie very realistic and moody, and where you were bored in some scenes because of the writing, you felt very involved in others.
Now I’ve talked a lot about what I didn’t enjoy in this film, but there was a lot I did enjoy about this movie. First of all, I found the movie visually very appealing. The colors were vibrant and moody and you were really brought to the era. It certainly was a period piece. I also mentioned the camera before. Most might tell you the camera work was amateur and shaky, but there really wasn’t a point in the film where I was bothered by it. I actually found the camera work quite professional. I felt much more involved in each scene because of the camera work and it seemed as if a lot of time was spent making each one worth watching.
The greatest pro I can point out when it comes to this movie is the many memorable performances. Johnny Depp was spectacular and exceeded my expectations, his performance was the best part of this film. Christian Bale was another leading man that exceeded my expectations. They weren’t that high for this character, because by the trailer it just didn’t seem like he had much to work with, but he truly put his all into this one and I enjoyed his screen presence very thoroughly. Marion Cotillard was also a force to be reckoned with along with almost every other supporting actor and actress.
So all and all, when you look at Public Enemies you get a good movie. It is one worth a view, but not one you need to rush out to the theater and see immediately. Their were certainly pros and cons to this movie and many of them. This is one of those movies that will be all across the board. Some will love it, some will hate it, and some will find it ok. You should see it and be the judge for yourself.