Sometimes you look at a trailer, check out the casting and read the story … and you think the movie’s gonna be good. Sometimes it is. And sometimes is isn’t.
In the case of Black mass, it painfully isn’t. Why painfully? Because main actor Johnny Depp pulls out one of his greatest feats, yet receives no admiration. No really. He didn’t get any awards or nothing. The reason? Black mass is poor, very poor.
Black mass tells the true story of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, an Irish mob boss who started a secret alliance with the FBI to take down the Italian mafia in Boston. But along the way, things go awry and bodies start to drop like flies.
The main reason why this movie doesn’t operate as well as other, far more impressive crime movies is essentially because the writing of the dialogues and the general atmosphere is flat.
There is no real character depth, other than the main guy of the story. The connection between the police and the mob-star isn’t very profound. And the music as well as the use of voice-over is a disgraceful throwback to the ’90s Scorsese-classic Goodfellas.
The movie lacks originality. Perhaps it’s that the story itself isn’t very interesting to tell. Or perhaps the filmmakers should’ve brought more new stuff to the table. The camerawork is nothing special. The typical ’70s style of the movie has been done so many times over, you’ll have a hard time remembering anything.
It’s a real shame, because main star Johnny Depp is very good. He completely disappears in his role. Though he’s done better acting all around (Pirates of the Caribbean) and better acting in crime movies (Donnie Brasco), he is still the very best thing about Black mass, carrying at times the entire movie alone on his heavy shoulders …
Despite having a good enough cast that can turn any movie into a classic, neither of the characters running around truly inspires. They’re all, one by one, empty vessels that pass by on the silver screen and you’ll forget they exist as soon as you watch Johnny Depp do his thing.
Not even the greatness of Benedict Cumberbatch can change the outcome … he tries his best but he has to work with virtually nothing.
Did you know?
When he was arrested in 2011, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger had been on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for 12 years. The $2 million reward the FBI offered for information leading to his capture was larger than that for any other fugitive on the list except Osama bin Laden.
Give it to me short:
From the get-go, one thing becomes painfully obvious. Black mass is a Johnny Depp one-man-show! The great actor sucks all the attention to him, and not just because the filmmakers changed his looks. The way he talks, walks and curses … or teaches his son beloved important lessons are all a great example of why Johnny Depp is miles ahead of anyone/anything in this movie.
The writing is shallow. The camerawork is so everyday, it’s like they hired some kid with a camcorder on the spot. And the dialogues show a disturbing ineffectiveness in bad language and great plot twists. If you take away the main star, nothing remains … except for Johnny Depp’s exhilarating transformation into the Boston mob boss.