Thursday, July 30, 2009

Public Enemies

I think that I may be in the minority of film goers that does NOT regard Heat as a great film. It's a lot of fun at parts, but it's not without flaws. It is however, a Michael Mann film to the core. And while I do consider Collateral and Ali to be his best films, I was slightly skeptical going into Public Enemies, fully expecting the film to be a Thirties version of Heat. To my surprise, it was and I liked it.

While the obvious similarities to Heat include the cop versus the criminal, two acting heavyweights chasing each other around a movie and sharing only one scene as well as brief, intense action sequences punctuated with long, exposition character pieces, they all work in this movie where I did not feel they worked in Miami Vice or Heat. The movie is all about Johnny Depp as Dillinger, clearly enjoy a mainstream movie that actually challenges him to act again without funny make-up or wigs. Bale does not phone it in, per se, so much as he does what comes easily to him, making FBI agent Melvin Purvis a brooding man, conflicted by the inefficiencies of his methods and the necessity of capturing Dillinger.

Unfortunately, I happened to see this film with a friend who was foolish enough to let her mobile phone ring, not once, not twice, but FOUR consecutive times during the final sequence outside the Biograph Theatre. I hope she reads this and relives her shame.


The Mad Hatter said...

Oh man...if that happened with anyone I knew, they'd quickly find themselves an ex friend!

I'm with you in digging the film - not Michael Mann's best, but still an awesome flick with some top notch acting.

Big Mike Mendez said...

Yea, well, she's KINDA good looking so you know how that goes.

But, a solid flick. Not too bad, not too great.

schaggydog said...

You've been a busy reviewer lately! I'm envious, I have lots of catching up to do now.

I'm interested in hearing your critique of Heat and what those flaws may be. I personally love that movie, although I think Mann's best film is the Insider.

This is one of the many films that I not only missed, but I completely forgot came out. I need to add it to my must see list.

I had a date once where the girl's phone not only rang twice during the movie, but she also answered it and spoke while the movie was on. Needless to say I immediately took her home after the movie and never spoke to her again. Some things just can't be forgiven.

Big Mike Mendez said...

Hmm, me thinks I've have to bring back the retro review for Heat now. Thanks for the idea, Phil.

Why is everyone caught up on the phone thing? LOL. She was totally embarrassed, I grilled her about for awhile, and then she had to suffer the humiliation of reading about it again online. Plus, she went to a movie with me, so hasn't the poor girl suffered enough?

The Mad Hatter said...

We're only picking on her to teach ya next time she turns the sucker off right after the trailer reel.

BLT Runner said...

My favorite part would have to be Billy Crudup as J. Edgar Hover. I think he nailed it and even after the movie I would randomly say, "We will get John Dillinger."