Posted on 7/12/09 08:13 AM
If I had one special request when crime films are made its that they should be directed by either Michael Mann or Martin Scorsese. There are no two better film-makers then these two when it comes to tranfering crime stories onto the big screen. With Heat, Miami Vice and Collateral previously under his belt, Michael Mann goes behind the camera to deliver us Public Enemies. It tells the story of John Dillinger (played with wonderful intensity by Johnny Depp), an American Bank robber in the 1930's era, who was hunted down by FBI agents Hoover (Billy Crudrup,superb) and Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale)for many years.
For starters this hasn't been a great year for films so far nothing's really wowed me and whilst Public Enemies is no masterpiece like Heat, its an effective, throughly engaging and excellent film. The cast are all exceptional, Johnny Depp brings a charismatic charm and menance to the lead role of Dillinger, its strange to seem him play a role so straight. Christian Bale is subtle and commanding opposite Depp. Whilst they don't share any scenes as memorable as Pacino and DeNiro in Heat, their encounters with each other make for a gripping watch. The supporting cast fair just as well all leave a lasting impression particulary Crudup and Stephen Graham.
This is pretty much a Michael Mann film, the depression and era are all presented beautifully on screen, and you get a real feel of the 1930's. The action is fast paced and hits you hard from start to finish. The story is well devised and keeps you engaged throughout. My biggest problem was how unbelievable some of it was, some scenes were just slightly too unrealistic, despite this all being based on true life events.
But as far as crime films go you won't do alot better at this moment in time, With a director as wise as Michael Mann and a cast as excellent as this, Public Enemies is definately worth you heading to the cinema for. Definately one of the best films of the year so far.