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Black Mass

By on December 6, 2015

Soundtrack-Black-Mass-600x600Black Mass (otherwise known as ‘the film where Johnny Depp looks ugly’) is about Boston gangster Whitey Bulger and how he worked as an informant with the FBI playing both sides against the other.

This film follows the typical Hollywood format of going through the key points in Whitey’s life, without much reflection of the consequences, and we see Bulger change from small-time local character to powerful mobster and murderer. The problem is that the only real change here is simply his status – at no point do you feel he goes through any arc, instead the real focus is on Joel Edgerton’s character John Connolly, whom we see seduced by Bulger and the criminal lifestyle.

Depp’s performance is good, but almost feels too staged. His appearance and demeanour takes on an almost cartoon-like quality villain – whereas the supporting cast are a lot stronger. There are a few scenes where Depp really shines – his scene with Mrs Connolly creates an atmosphere so thick you can feel it coming off the screen.

Cumberbatch has a minor role here, merely paying lip service to the fact that Bulger’s brother was a high flying politician, the incredibly under-appreciated Rory Cochrane shines through and other actors like Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard and Jesse Plemons all make interesting, well rounded, watchable characters – but this is really Edgerton’s film. He remains the most fascinating character of the film and Depp’s hammy acting is watchable, but not as impressive as some may wish.

Scott Cooper carries on his run of overrated, mediocre films with the likes of Crazy Heart and Out of the Furnace, but if you compare this to something like American Hustle, or other films of the same genre that have been released recently, then it’s instantly forgettable.

Average at best.

Rating: 6/10

 

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