Posted by: Dr P | October 11, 2009

Public Enemies

Dear reader, before I kick off this review, let me urge you to take on board one thing. If you are planning to see this film Do NOT under any circumstances go up to the counter and ask for tickets to see ‘Pubic Enemies’. Big G and I had giggled about that so much while waiting in the queue that it was inevitable! Ahem.

Set in the 1930s, in the booming age of crime, this film focuses on the battle between notorious bank robber John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and a new FBI department dedicated to ending his reign of terror, headed up by Melvin Purvis (Christian ‘Batman’ Bale). Now apart from the fact that it’s highly unlikely that anyone called Melvin is likely to inspire horror in a hardened criminal, Dillinger is a smart cookie, who boasts of being able to go through a bank ‘in about a minute’, and so his chances of capture are small. In contrast to his fellow robbers Pretty Boy Floyd and others, Dillinger is a popular figure, loved by the people for knocking off big business and not touching a penny of the common people (well except what he gets out of the vaults ….). The changing face of bank robbery is also explored – Dillinger’s peers are less wary of killing people who get in their way which grates with our ‘hero’.

I have to say that this was – for me – a bit of a let down. The trailer suggested constant action and daring stunts, yet the plot was pretty slow moving in truth, and a lot of the scenes were very sluggishly paced. Depp is always watchable, though in this he plays the role in a fairly bland manner. He’s best known for his edgy portrayals of outlandish characters like Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd, so this was something of a disappointing role. Christian Bale also did not set the screen alight for me – after his damp squib performance in Terminator, he desperately needs another Batman film to get him back on top form!!

Despite the film’s inordinate length (well it seemed to go on for ever), it’s a fairly short review, friends; it just didn’t rock my world in any way and offering very little in the way of memorable scenes or dialogue. Disappointing!

The highlight of the film was the very old couple who turned up right at the start of the film. The man clearly had a hearing aid – switched off – and his wife kept shouting at him during the film. Right near the end you could hear her say ‘ARE YOU ASLEEP????’ and then as the credits rolled we had the immortal ‘OI, WAKE UP, IT’S NEARLY MIDNIGHT AND I WANT TO GET HOME’!!

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