Public Enemies Reviews
The second thing you should know is that the film doesn't necessarily play as a drama with character involvement or any particular theme. Instead it plays more like a historical reenactment. Showing the so called noble war on crime against Dillinger with warts and all. It doesn't really glamorize Dillinger or the life of the gangster but nor does it romanticize the roll of law enforcement. Instead the director, Michael Mann, lets the events of the film unfold as they more or less unfolded in history. Which may make a few people unhappy in the audience that no great amount of dramatic license was used to come to a more satisfying, and dramatically compelling, conclusion. On the other hand, Mann uses notable aspects of the films historical climax to raise the significance of that moment. Without giving too much away, there is the moment where Johnny Depp as Dillinger is in a theater where he is watching Clark Gables play a gangster that beautifully sums up a motive for they way Dillinger lived his life and foreshadows what is yet to come.
I do not believe the re enactment style of the film is a fault but is actually a strength. The historical story of Dillinger on its own is certainly an interesting read. So pair that up with outstanding acting from Johnny Depp, and other quality performances by Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup as well a whole host of notable supporting actors and you have an intriguing, engaging and action packed crime drama.
Feb 11th 2010
January 21st 2017
Overall, very entertaining and brings Dillinger colorfully to life. Seemingly a Robin Hood of his time.