Movie: Public Enemies
I was disappointed, but I must preface my comments by stressing that I am not a gangster film fan. I find them boring, bewildering, and I don't get the fascination with such low-life killers. This film has its moments, it's certainly well done and acted, but I was surprised at the violence (the trailers didn't indicate that): this film has more gunplay than most action flicks, much of it involving machine guns, and those things are loud. I mean really loud. My ears were ringing after every gun battle. Storywise, there isn't much too this: John Dillinger is bad guy, good FBI agent is tracking him down, they fight, and -- since this is based on reality -- Dillinger loses. It's well done in that regard, but I didn't get much depth out of the character. I didn't learn what made John tick. I also found the film’s editing to be choppy and awkward, which surprised me. There were many scenes that jumped without a transition, leaving me confused as I suddenly realized we were in a completely different scene with other characters. (This problem was exacerbated by the fact that 90% of the gangsters looked identify in their dark suits and hats.) The hand-held motion photography was also a problem, making me queasy in many scenes.
All that said, this isn't a bad movie by any means. I'm sure many enjoyed it. It's well done, well-written, and well-acted. Visually it's interesting, being a period piece, and of course Jonny Depp is amazing as usual. But I found the gunplay boring and routine, the story endless (the film is nearly 2.5 hours long), and in the end, it did not live up to my high expectations.