Public Enemies (2009) – less than enthralling

As a rule, I don’t like to review films I haven’t watched all the way through, I hardly even like to give my full opinions on them. But, there are definitely some that aren’t interesting enough to capture my interest at the specific point in time I tried to watch them, and although I’d been looking forward to seeing it at last, Public Enemies has become one of those ‘watch later, if at all‘ flicks.

I stuck with it for about 45 minutes, but nothing about it really stuck with me. There’s a perfectly clear story in there – John Dilligner (Johnny Depp) and some parts of his gang make a daring prison escape (eat your heart out Michael Scofield) and he’s soon on the run from Melvin Purvis, Christan Bale’s sharp-shooting lawman. Dillinger continues robbing banks and tries not to piss off the public, as he’s hiding in plain sight amongst the finer restaruants of 1930s Chicago. He meets Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard), a coat check girl, and she soon joins him on the run. And that’s as far as I got. It was disjointed, events happened at a great distance and made it hard to give a damn what happened next. What I saw was very uninvolving. Maybe I’ll try again later in the week, but there’s far too much to read and do already.


We eventually watched the 1999 Thomas Crown Affair instead. I hadn’t seen this before either. It’s a slick affair from the director of Die Hard; a twisting, steamy story of rich men and art forgeries, and the investigations of one determined woman (Renee Russo) who can’t quite resist Pierce Brosnan at his James Bond peak. I actually prefer how Brosnan appears in the 2000s, now he’s a little more weathered and allowed to cut loose more in his latest films. In TCA he’s a sneakier, smugger version of Bond, albeit with some seriously good taste in art. Gorgeous paintings and sculptures litter the screen. Part love story, part Ocean’s 11, it delivers its killer ending with serious panache. The worst thing about it was the terribly distracting soundtrack, which through no fault of the film has been massively devalued by some bad adverts.

Tomorrow, I took a long, hard look at the early 1990s children’s BBC production of Dark Season on DVD.


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