I don’t get it. Really. I don’t know if it’s because I watched it while I was half-asleep or because it is just not my type of movie. But yeah, I really don’t get the whole thing. I was even wondering why did it last 2hr and 20 mins.
First of all, it wasn’t fearful or thrilling. Why do I say so? Everything just went smoothly and everybody just cooperatively play along. 3 guys walked into bank, armed, point their guns and get the the money. Once done, on their way out, they had a crazy gun fight with the police but strangely nobody gets hurt and they got away. Everything happens in about 1 or 2 mins. I didn’t know robbing a bank in those days was that easy. And Melvin Purvis, who according to the movie, was supposed to be a really talented agent but other than his cool and accurate sharp shooting on Pretty Boy Floyd at the beginning of film, he seems to be nothing but a failure. Then there is the prison break. They walked in, and somehow smuggle guns in and take the police hostage and they got out. Just like that. Then when John Dillinger got imprisoned, it was even better. He used a fake gun to take hostage of prison guard after prison guard. Everybody obeyed and unlocked all the door. And again, just like that he was prison free.
Other than the unthrilling actions, there was the unconvincing romance. The initial start up was good. It was reasonable to see how Billie fell for John’s frank and honestly aggressive approach. But there wasn’t any believable built up. If you look at John, you can see why he loves her. He’s spontaneous, unruly, simple, and plain. He does whatever he feels like whenever he feels like, no plan for future, no reflection on the past. And she’s beautiful, dark, and sophisticated – the “black bird” of his heart. However, if you look at Billie, there wasn’t really any built-up to her commitment. The next thing we know is she was all over John and resting her life in his hand with faith and trust. Personally, I find it to be a rather awkward romance.
I recalled reading a review on IMDB describing Public Enemies as “a profoundly great piece of film art, and it will be sorely under-appreciated.” So I guess I’m one of them. I will not deny it because I really cannot comprehend the art of this movie. It’s just too abstract.