Black Mass (2015) – Review
A brutal gangster movie set in South Boston with a truly amazing performance from Jonny Depp.
Director : Scott Cooper
Cast: Jonny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Joel Edgerton
A most impressive performance from Jonny Depp showing that he can act the socks off any other Hollywood A–lister. Al Pacino and Robert De Nero could not have done better in their prime. In a true story, Depp plays a violent Irish American who rises to power using an unholy alliance with the FBI. One of his old school friends is the FBI agent who builds a career on this dubious co-operation. Systematically they remove the Mafia and any other rivals from Boston.
The trouble is the character has very few redeeming qualities and gets more and more violent and menacing as the film progresses .There is an attempt to explain why ‘Whitey’ gets ‘madder and badder’ bit is not enough to forgive the cold egocentric psychopath. At this point I lost all empathy with Depp’s character and the violence became less and less justifiable and harder and harder to watch. The story is based on reality, so at this point the film took on an almost documentary feel and my viewing began to feel like some strange unhealthy voyeurism. As a docudrama the film is too long, and even the awe of Depp couldn’t stop the audience from getting bored.
In the end the story grinds to its inevitable conclusion (which incidentally is revealed in the first seconds of the first reel – so this is not a spoiler) and I was grateful that I could now stop watching.
I feel I have to recommend seeing this film, although, I am not sure why (apart from Depp). One thing I can almost guarantee: You won’t leave the cinema feeling happier, but then perhaps that is the point?
Reviewed by: TheManInTheBlackHat