Johnny Depp, the actor, is back! In “Black Mass”, whether fixing a friend with an icy stare from his blue eyes, to the pure joy he shows giving his young son ‘life’ lessons while silently quieting his girlfriend or choking another woman with his bear hands to strangling an informer with a rope, this is Depp becoming the psychopath James ‘Whitey’ Bulgar, not a caricature or using camp but being the man. He becomes mesmerizing just brushing his hand along the cheek of his friend’s wife frightening her or laughing as he tells another friend he was just pulling his leg but leaves the question if he was. 

Johnny Depp is the center of the movie and is the reason to see it. The large supporting cast including Dakota Johnson as his girlfriend, who disappears from the picture bringing up an unanswered question, Julianne Nicholson as the friend’s wife and Juno Temple as a prostitute along with Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, Kevin Bacon, Steve Flemmi, Corey Stoll, David Harbour, W.Earl Brown, Scott Anderson, Bill Camp and Peter Sarsgaard as various thugs, FBI agents, policeman, prosecutors all give strong support.

I had problems with two actors in the film, the first being Joel Edgerton, an Australian actor, who seems to have watched every Hollywood gang film and attempts to blend Brando and DeNiro making his character confusing and distracting every time when he is on screen and he is in most of the film. The other was with Benedict Cumberbatch, not his acting as he always turns in good performances, but with his casting. I know to leave logic at the door when I go to the movies but no way, in any universe, could Cumberbatch and Depp be brothers. They don’t look alike, don’t talk alike, don’t have any similar mannerisms. True Benedict’s character went to college and law school while Johnny’s spent those years in the penitentiary. The former became a State senator and then president of the University of Massachusetts while the latter starting selling dope to teenagers and became the kingpin of the South Boston’s underground, in many ways with the help of the FBI! I suppose they could have been brothers but I just couldn’t buy it.

Director Scott Cooper does a pedestrian job as do the screenwriters Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth while none bringing anything new or different to the genre. The movie is slow moving and too long at 122 minutes.

The bottom line is that “Black Mass” is a must see film to see Johnny Depp back on track as a fine actor bringing everything he can to a role.



Posted September 18, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

One response to ““BLACK MASS”–MOVIE REVIEW

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  1. I cant wait to see this, Joel Edgerton is kind of ‘hit or miss!’ I agree with you about casting Cumberbatch and Depp as brothers, it does seem unlikely. Nonetheless I still cant wait to see this film….I love Johnny Depp, always have 🙂

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