The story of the fall of John Dillinger is one that is almost larger then life, and frankly had it not actually happened, would be in a category of pure highly imaginative fiction of an era in time where the down trodden and desperate would tell to give some glimmer of hope where they saw none. The fact is John Dillinger did in fact exist, a charming and charismatic figure despite his pension for thievery and his fascination with fire power and very fast automobiles, made more friends from those he took as hostages and the general public for whom he was Named Public Enemy Number One.
Now Picture this. It's in the Middle of the Great Depression, A man come walking into a Bank with a couple of others all dressed finely for the time and suddenly All hell Breaks loose. Machine Guns and Pistols are brought bare and soon the banks clerks are cleaning out the tills. You Are in the middle of a bank robbery, and the thought crosses your mind.
"These men want all the money in the bank and I had better give it to them if I am going to live through this. Don't be a hero."
With that you place you money out for the men to take only to be told to keep your money. You may be taken as a Hostage, You are likely to be entertained, fed well on a few occasions, hear some fantastic jokes, sing a few songs together, and then Get released, some time with a tip for services. These are just a few reported incidents from those that where held by Dillinager and his band of bank stickup men time and time again.
Now let flash forward a nice little ways forwards to our current time. The art of hold up banks is a lost one. No one give a rats butt about you, if you give them your money they will likely take it if they don't ask for it them selves. And now a days, These people generally get caught soon after or later down the line. Sometime with tragic results.
Few people love bank robbers like a folk hero. But this is a Different time and a different world altogether.
so we look back and see what came before, love him or hate him, John Dillanger was a folk legend that live and walk the earth.
this film was finely crafted and well made. Powerful Acting and masterful story telling as We see the two enemies face off in a dual of intelligence, pure force of will and timing that is The Cops vs. The Robbers. Christian Bail plays ever clever and cunning if just a bit out of his element Melvin Pervice of the up and rising FBI. with a name like that, you know he has got to have grown up a hardened badass, because a name like that would get you killed, or at least beaten daily where I'm from. Where as we all know Johnny Depp plays the ever charming, strait shooting, force of will power.
First the story is solid, the Fact vs. Fictional adaptation questions a side, I found the story from both sides of the law to be compelling and interesting to see. The music was fantastic, Chilling and Haunting at time as it mixed together the emotional ride that is the crumbling of a group of men doing what they feel they must to get by in the world that has crumbled for them.
While the film spent more time Focused on John then they did on Melvin and Co. I found it to be really rather balanced. You got the sense that these two groups of men are living in gray areas of social norms. Dillanger having to balance his crimes with the opinions of the people, while Pervice having to Deal with notion of the ends justify the means even at the risk of his own human decency,
A sort of "I'll Torture a man for a bit of information on where John is hiding after a bank job but if you dare strike a woman there is hell to pay, but where do I draw the line between?"
I think this film was very well made and while it may not be 100% true to the real life fact, After all, how could it be? It was however entertaining and interesting to see.
I'm going to give this film an 8 out of 10 and leave it at that. I am going to have to now decide to either keep this rental copy, or go out and buy me a brand new one of my own. I think I'll buy it but the Rouge in me want to keep this rental one and not return it.
When all else fails... Keep shooting at it!...