I have yet to see Michael Mann's Public Enemies and I'm trying hard to keep my expectations in check. I've been a Mann fan since Manhunter which I was lucky enough to see on its brief, initial theatrical run in the UK, and, say what you like about him, he's never let me down. From Heat to Mohicans, the criminally underrated Ali to The Insider, from the HiDef hues of Collateral and Miami Vice to the stylishly bonkers The Keep (a DVD release, please, Universal!), Mann is one of contemporary cinema's great artistes.
Variety's Todd McCarthy was mixed on Public Enemies. "[Its] results [are] more admirable than electrifying. Centering on bank robber John Dillinger, the most publicized of the many Depression-era outlaws whose transgressions fostered the rise of the FBI, Hollywood's specialist in great-looking crime stories has put images on the screen that are compelling to watch even though the overall impact is muted. Oddly, too, the film is somewhat shortchanged by its great star, Johnny Depp, who disappointingly has chosen to play Dillinger as self-consciously cool rather than earthy and gregarious."
In contrast, Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeff Wells called it "glorious and levitational — the most captivating, beautifully composed and freshly conceived gangster movie since Bonnie and Clyde. It's an art film first, a Mann head-and-heart trip second, a classic machine-gun action pulverizer third, and a conventional popcorn movie fourth."
I can't wait.