It's the Fourth of July weekend, and what better way to celebrate America's independence than by watching a John Dillinger decide taxation with representation wasn't nearly as much fun as the patriots made it out to be. Public Enemies has gone wide this week, brandishing their tommy guns in the hopes of stealing some of Transformers' box office thunder. If anyone can do it, it might just be Johnny Depp, who does appeal to a crowd that Optimus Prime just can't reach.
Jeffrey Anderson was full of praise for Michael Mann's film, likening it to earlier crime classics such as Max Nosseck's Dillinger or Don Siegel's Baby Face Nelson. "... it equals them, capturing some of their raw energy and allure and clocking in as a longer, but equally fast-moving and adrenaline-pumping example Somehow Mann only manages to use the extra time for flash and spectacle, and hardly any for depth or detail, but that only helps to speed things along. Happily, he also avoids the typical origin story, and plunges right in ... One of the movie's main themes is that Dillinger lives for the moment, unwilling or unable to consider the future, and with little use for the past. That's Mann's credo as well, and it's what keeps the lengthy Public Enemies in shape. Most scenes come with an intense immediacy, with an effective use of shaky cams and stark lighting, giving chaos an open invitation to rear its ugly head at any time. The bullets are loud and plentiful and when they hit, the blood is not shy about making an exit."
But that's one smooth criminal's opinion. Give us yours!