I like Mann's films, like Johnny Depp, love Marion Cotillard, and I am a raving devotee of the gangsters and the era. So I really, really expected to like this film. Unfortunately, I thought it was pretty dreadful, very inferior to John Milius's earlier movie.
The digital production didn't bother me at all. The historical inaccuracies did, especially since Melvin Purvis was a fascinating figure and probably a murderer himself who deserved a more interesting treatment than he gets here. If they had filmed the ugly version of the death of Pretty Boy Floyd it would have utterly transformed the tone of the movie. One thing he was not was a good shot, though, which makes his portrayal as a sort of dead-eye dick kind of silly. The stuff about Frank Nitti is just libelous, assuming that there is anyway to defame Frank Nitti.
Worse than the inaccuracies -And Jim Doherty is right, you've just got to expect them in these movies - was the technical aspects of the production. The audio is awful, amateurish - the sound level goes up and down in a seemingly arbitrary manner. The film editing and cinematography is also pretty poor. I'm not a big fan of jerky, hand-held camera to begin with and this flick has plenty of it. It gets awfully confusing to follow the action on screen at times. Another, related , problem is that the gangsters tend to all look alike.....particularly from a distance. It's like "Hey! Homer Van Meter just died! Or was that Baby Face Nelson?
Marion Cotillard is a knucking fockout and might be worth the price of admission by herself. Unfortunately, she is n't given much to do.
I don't recommend it and I wish I could. Rent the old Milius movie instead.
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