Viewed – 08 September 2012 Blu-ray
I really don’t understand reviews sometimes. Here we have a very grand and accomplished movie by one of the best directors around, namely Michael Mann (Heat), and when perusing reviews of this 2009 thriller, there didn’t seem hardly a good word to be said about it. This follows the exploits of famed bank robber John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) as he is hunted by Special Agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). during the early days of the F.B.I.
This action-heavy true story may be light of getting to the heart of who Dillinger might have been, but as an absorbing and exciting crime story, this ticked all my boxes. Bale is good despite a wonky accent, but remains in the shadow of Depp who deliver’s a charismatic, steely-eyed performance that is very hard to take your eyes off. He owns this movie from beginning to end. Add to this good support from the gorgeous Marion Cotillard (Inception) as Dillinger’s love interest adding some emotional weight to proceedings, and impeccable direction from Mann, exonerating him after the misfire of Miami Vice – this is a movie full of detail, character and energy. A special mention should go to the sound design, with some moments really knocking me back in my seat.
It may be about ten or fifteen minutes longer than it needed to be, but never drags and as a vehicle for Depp that isn’t just an excuse for him to deliver another wacky character (Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice In Wonderland etc) – I’d call this essential viewing.
Verdict: 5 /5