Overall it's not bad. The performances are fine, there's some good action pieces and tension. I think the biggest misstep was making it look like a home movie instead of a film. And I know Michael Mann can make visually stunning movies, Heat and Mahnhunter being great examples. I also know that digital film can be corrected to look like an older film (O Brother, Where Art Thou being a great example).
I wanted to love this movie so much but there was just something preventing me from that. I guess I was just too in love with the John Milius film Dillinger where Warren Oates knocked it out of the park as John Dillinger. I guess I had too much faith in Johnny Depp and he let me down like everybody else did in this movie except for Marion Cottilard, it's very hard for her to be terrible.
I'm torn on this one. The cinematography was amazing at times, distracting at other times. Not distracting in a bad way, I and most I believe audiences are not used to seeing movies this way. This is 100% percent 21st century filmmaking, and it serve to educate filmmakers in the years and decades to come. Being a native Chicagoan, I already know the bulk of this story and tbh don't really find it that interesting
Mann is aware that films say more of the time in which they're made than the time in which they're set. Public Enemies is a g̶a̶n̶g̶s̶t̶e̶r̶ film electrified by a modern digital aesthetic to the point that it's not a costume drama, but a piece of humanity and our innate attachment to images/symbols of ourselves. It's action, romance, and death as expressions of the collective ideas we represent. Life is image.
The origins, developments, & purposes of the image. Life is a prison: Mann's initial thesis. But no concept is easily manageable here; counteraction abounds. Depp is Depp & Dillinger at all times. By the end, this amalgamation of man & image faces a supreme image-maker &, in a moment of absolute transcendence, fully grasps how an image relates to a society which requires forms. Figural cinema of the highest order.
Gangster Films 101: Guy does bad things, bad guy not so bad, bad guy falls for good woman, good woman makes bad guy become more humane and personable, good bad guy gets killed by bad good guys. Pathos. Gangster Films 130: Some good moments (read: gunfights), but Mann's digital camerawork detracts from character intimacy. Bale furrows his brow. Depp tries, Crudup succeeds. Audience looks bored despite body count.
Michael Mann made "Thief". And he made "Heat". He is a great director, familiar with the genre. Therefore, "Public Enemies" was a movie, I had high hopes for. However, it is a mess. Very much boring. How could that happen? Emptiness. I guess it lacks charisma, character, a dramatic element.
Il più loffio dei film di Mann è sempre un gran film perché il regista riesce a costruire, ancora una volta, una storia più grande della vicenda che mette in scena. Depp non sarà un grande attore ma riesce a infilare un po' di cuore nel suo personaggio, Bale ambiguo e durissimo.