Movie Review: Public Enemies (2009)

For me, Michael Mann's Public Enemies is a movie about technology.

Yes, technology.

The story of John Dillinger (played by Johnny Depp) and his gang during the "Golden Age of Bank Robberies" in the 1930's is interesting because of the lack of technology. For example, (a little bit of a spoiler alert) John Dillinger walks around the city with minimal disguise and no one recognizes him and no one reports him. And Dillinger was considered Public Enemy Number One at that time.

Another technological issue is the "obsolescence" of bank robbing presented by the movie. This development would prove crucial in the events of the story.

But Michael Mann does succeed in presenting John Dillinger the criminal as someone who protects his girlfriend (nicely played by Marion Cotillard), and instinctively eludes the "scientific" lawmen led by Melvin Purvis (played by Christian Bale). Just tone down your expectations a bit on the action department-- it's all revolvers and tommy guns.

Public Enemies could make a case as one of the Top 5 gangster biopics of the decade, thanks to Johnny Depp and Michael Mann's attention to detail and historical accuracy of facts and technology.

Rating: 3.5/5