Bi-Polar Reviews: Public Enemies I

Here at the fold, we like to freshen it up a little now and then. What we do is we take one contrived journalistic form, then split the thing in two. I present to you the felicitous half of Bi Polar reviews. The come-down will follow, rest assured.

Cheer up

Sir Michael of Mann, master of the contradictory genre ‘Guy Movies for Smart People’ presented us a few weeks ago with his latest man drama Public Enemies. In the summer of robots, Mann offers a story for cinema goers.

This is not to say that Public Enemies is an intellectual social commentary. On the contrary, it is an extremely simple, straight-forward narrative that puts to lie the idea that entertainment cannot be both fun and meaningful or smart and exciting.

The Baymeister

It does so through the surprisingly successful technique of ignoring the import of its own subject matter.

It’s a period movie based on one of most famous true stories of the 20th century. But it is not weighed down by the usual gravitas. There’s no sepia filters, lowered tones or mangled music. It’s a slick thoroughly modern film, that is only old fashioned in its setting. Shot on high definition film, cut to the pace of a modern thriller, and frequently scored to the buzz of a heavy guitar riff. That it’s characters once lived, and that it’s story is technically true seems to regard mainly as a quirk of fate or bonus feature. What we’ve got here is a historical action drama framed around the career of John Dillinger. Don’t know who that is? Watch the movie. Can’t Wait? Google it.

All you need to know is that it’s a cops and robbers flick, with the great depression lending a hand as backdrop. Cue hats, guns, bullets, booze, benjamins and the kinda hot ladies one could unironically refer to as broads. If that’s not enough to grab you, heres Batman and Captain Jack Sparrow as the dueling leads. A charming rascal of a bank robber, and a stoic humourless hard case. Guess which plays which?


This is a good movie, a little bit short of a classic and it wont change your life, but it’s a rock solid piece of work with a great cast, lots of suspense and some well directed set-pieces. My only real criticism is that at times it feels a bit slight. Like its moving too fast for details to really sink in. I’m hesitant to make too much of it though, since its part of the highly modernistic style. The whole point being to portray the story without the weight of it’s own mythology. The fact remains, there is a lot of movie packed into this movie. Not only the stories of Dillinger (Depp) and Purvis (Bale), but the birth of the F.B.I, the consolidation of the mob, the hardship of the depression and the rise of the media savvy.

What a delight, that in this barren wasteland of a summer, to have an action movie where not only do you not have to turn off your brain, you don’t want to.

Amann to that Brother!


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One Response to “Bi-Polar Reviews: Public Enemies I”

  1. Bi-Polar Reviews: Public Enemies II « Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] Did you miss the first half? i suggest you click. […]

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