Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Movies: Public Enemies

Michael Mann's latest crime flick, "Public Enemies," explores the life of John Dillinger, one of America's most notorious bank robbers:

Essentially, it's an undercooked Depression-era "Heat," complete with another big star pairing - Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Unlike its predecessor, "Public Enemies" doesn't devote much screen time to the character on the right side of the law (FBI agent Melvin Purvis, played by Bale) so the cat-and-mouse game doesn't ever become interesting.

Mann delivers plenty of his trademark shootouts, a bit of romance in the form of love interest Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard), and enough period touches to evoke the 1930s. But the underlying problem remains: this is a fictionalized version of a true story. Since we all know how the story ends, it's hard for the movie to remain compelling throughout its nearly 2-1/2 hour runtime.

Rating: 6/10

For gun aficionados, though, there's a lot of interesting firearms used by the main characters. In particular, Dillinger sports a Pocket Hammerless (which is historically accurate) and several Thompson SMGs.


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