Public Enemies

Rated 2.0

Audiences expecting glamour, action and romance from a Depp-as-Dillinger biopic may be disappointed with this terse and spare treatment of Depression-era gangsters from director/co-writer Michael Mann. They’ll be even more disappointed to discover how often the film falls on the wrong side of risibility. Fresh off the gluttonous failure of Miami Vice, Mann virtually remakes the film in fedoras and period-appropriate cars with Public Enemies. Johnny Depp plays the “people’s gangster” John Dillinger and Christian Bale is FBI man Melvin Purvis, but neither one creates an indelible impression. Meanwhile, Mann’s attempt to solder on a spark-free romantic subplot involving hatcheck girl turned moll Marion Cotillard is even more futile than it was with Gong Li in Miami Vice. The production design is certainly impressive, but Public Enemies is ice-cold in tone, confused in its execution and ultimately pointless.