Michael Mann seems to be such a hit or miss director for me.
While Heat and Collateral are two movies I genuinely love and can watch numerous times, both Miami Vice and now Public Enemies leave me cold and disinterested.
Mann's crystal clear cinematography and lovely use of shadows and darkness remain in Public Enemies other details are lacking. For one, there is little differentiation between the looks, speech and habits of the "bad guys" and "good guys" so that in scenes where the edits come fast and furious, it is quite difficult to tell who is doing what to whom and all you get is a mish mash of "bang, bang, bang" left wondering who was killed by whom and when.
As far as acting performances go, well, Bale again proves that "Batman" is his best role as behind a mask is where he belongs. So singular in the note of his performances I don't think he has changed his facial expression or vocal tone in over a decade. As for Depp?? Other critics will tell you how great this performance was just because its Depp and well, don't all critics just love Depp?? In truth he is merely average, playing Dillinger as about as bland as can be.
The violence here is unremarkable, the story covers far too much and involves too many locations, nothing here is established or allowed to sink in emotionally. You are left with an empty and unsatisfied feeling, wondering why you spent the last two and 1/2 hours learning nothing and feeling less.