Well, "Public Enemies" definitely does have potential, but it chokes itself with these clipped scenes and other technical mishaps, even in the fights that should have pushed it over the top. John Dillinger is Johnny Depp, inspired casting based on photos. In the film's first distracting and disengaging moments, Dillinger gets some criminals out of prison. Why I mention this is that this is our first brush with Dillinger, which should be alluring, but the film fails to make it so. Next, we are introduced to the sharpshooting eye of Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) as he's gunning down Pretty Boy Floyd (Channing Tatum). I do not believe that we get much more than that on him. Neither do we get anything on Dillinger, except for a flashing moment of backstory. We get as much as his love interest Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard).
Anyways, J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) declares "the United States of America's first war on crime" and sets up Purvis as the head of the Chicago branch. From here on out, its a quest to catch Dillinger before he robs a lot of banks and gets away to "farther than Cuba." Is this all that entertaining or stimulating? Stimulating, perhaps. There is one fantastic scene done in the woods where Dillinger is hiding out from the feds. The editing, cinematography, and sound design all hit high peak together, and the result is magnificent. Nothing else in the movie gets close to this, and that proves for a mediocre, considerably lengthy (143 minutes is too long for the film this is), and bland Dillinger mini-biopic that's weak in the ouevres of all its participants, especially Mann. "Public Enemies" has its chances, but most are squandered, which is sad, because there seems to be some good here. C