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I never understand this kind of gangster film, usually because I never manage to concentrate on the interellationship between all those gangster characters, and if that happens, I never know whom to blame: script, diretor, me? In the case of Michael Mann’s latest film, I would say we are all to blame. He focuses a lot on the two main opponents, a bank robber (who, dear US producers, is nowhere near as famous internationally as you seem to believe) and the copper chasing him. We have seen that in various settings, not the least in Mann’s own “Heat”, but also there are clear traces of the “Untouchables”, if only the three-piece suits (never worn with more sex than through Andy Garcia – what’s he doing these days??). The film has fabulous moments, mostly when the irony that belongs more to Johnny Depp’s look than to Dillinger’s character takes over (the visit at the Dillinger task force in the police headqarters is an example – I am positive that cool was Depp cool, not Dillinger cool). The use of HD footage throughout makes for a look that takes some time to adjust to. If one does not adjust, you could believe that film was shot with the same equipment than any given porn flic, so you better take it for innovative camera dynamics instead. No seriously, I keep not understanding why you need to use this kind of technology when you can afford proper film. Next thing is they shoot it on 3D… because we can!
As most “based on a true story” movies (I keep remembering “Zodiac” for this), there is a certain anti-climax that comes with real life, and despite all the effort put into the showdown, it comes down to *** spoiler now, ok, also before, but now really! *** it comes down to the cops waiting for Dillinger in front of a cinema, waiting for him to come out and gunning him down. There is not much thrill that can come out of such a prosaic ending.
Christian Bale assessment line: still not a useful actor, overrated. I do not expect his hype to last much longer. Much better suited for roles where he does not need to move his neck.

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