Black Mass is a movie that tells the story of James “Whitey” Bulger, one of the most violent criminals in South Boston during the 1970s and 80s and his involvement with the FBI. It delves deep into his actions and criminal activities utilizing a great cast that carries out the task of bringing Bulger and those surrounding him to life on the big screen.
Johnny Depp is great as one would expect, with another trademark physical and mental transformation that turns him into Bulger and embodies his crazy and unstable personality. Nevertheless it was Joel Edgerton who caught my eye with his performance as John Connolly and it might not have been as over the top as Depp’s but it was subtle and it was incredible. One would assume they both have a good chance at an Oscar nod this year.
It really is a great depiction of the story, by the director Scott Cooper, he doesn’t depend on action scenes or suspense to get the attention of the audience, he chooses to rely on “Whitey” as the focal point of the movie and compel the viewer with the ruthlessness and unforgiving nature of the terrifying criminal that Bulger was (Johnny Depp can portray anyone with the charisma he possesses and Cooper takes full advantage of that). Everybody was fearful of him, even his accomplices and that really becomes obvious throughout the film.
An Intriguing and gripping movie with very good performances.
The story might be absurd, the situations that Mortdecai finds himself in might be a bit dumb but that doesn’t take away the jokes and the laughs from the film. After all it is a comedy and if it does one thing right, it’s providing laughs or at least chuckles throughout.
Some viewers will probably find it funnier than others, but it’s hard to believe that anyone could watch this movie and come out completely unentertained. Paul Bettany and Ewan McGregor are fantastic, they provide some authentic British vibe and their chemistry with Johnny Depp brings out the most out of the movie. The verbal back and forth between them never seizes to amuse as does the impeccable acting by Depp, who once again proves that he is the master in portraying peculiar personas.
The narrative however is always up in the air, it never manages to get a grip of reality, and very similarly to Mortdecai it always progresses without taking into consideration what will follow and how it will build on what preceded. The main focus of the film becomes apparent in its very early stages and that is to amuse the audience and it does exactly that.