Director of percussion The Fires of Anger in the past year, Scott Cooper returns with another thriller, in another vein, with a biopic on Whitey Bulger, a notorious criminal who is rampant in America and especially in Boston. The film gangster has already given so much, so much proposed that any member of the audience has in his unconscious the entire imaging already well-established by entering the room. It is this that can quickly thwart a movie and return it without personality. Examples of successes during the years 2000 to prove that the genre can continue to be powered by high-quality works. STRICTLY CRIMINAL happens to find its way ?
Scott Cooper has not become a huge producer of a film to another, therefore, without surprise, STRICTLY CRIMINAL does not escape to a classic formal. A stylish scene, without madness, but proposed with a serious which allows the scenario and the characters deploy their weapons. A writing that does not focus on the surprise the intent is not there, but on a climb slow, doomed to failure. A plan (or rather “an alliance” according to the statements of the protagonists), which can only lead to a backlash. The film is not meant to build suspense, since it delivers almost its end from the first minutes, through a testimony of a former right hand man of Bulger. Other testimony will come during the movie to amplify the impression that the fall of this anti-hero is the only likely outcome. One passes through common places inherent to the genre which are saved in extremis by the prism for teaching (a time, a historical figure, of the true facts) via which the viewer can approach the vision of the film. And, more importantly, there is one thing that totally dominates the set : Johnny Depp.
To say that it had lost its last years is an understatement. The abyss of buffoonery in which it was pressed was hilarious and his last big role dates back to 2009, and the powerful Public Enemies. Funny coincidence, therefore, that he returns with a big role in a film of gangsters, as if to exorcise the past 6 years, strewn with low , Tim Burton, and roles derived from his famous Jack Sparrow show. What is funny is that to embody the gangster, he is going through a massive make-up. Him, the actor that we have both seen putting on make-up his last years to make the clown, passes again through this process without the worry of excess that had become the only element temperamental of all his roles, as a self-parody permanent. The makeup is visible in STRICTLY CRIMINAL but contributes to the erasure of the actor. Even more interesting, his complexion pallid, his eyes clear blue and his hair a little darker, give it an aura of ghostly, like a death who struts around on Earth. There is something deeply disturbing in its physical and its behavior. Even being nice, he is threatening and his use of the double language makes it terrifying, unpredictable.
Moreover, when an inspector asks one of his former henchmen what they think of him, he responds : “it was the crime personified“. A man who brings misfortune to anyone in his life, whether voluntary or not, of his enemies to the people of his entourage, everyone ends poorly. It will quickly reduce its performance to an umpteenth number of transformist, but if there was a reason to see STRICTLY CRIMINAL, it is for his performance is sensational which should position it as one of the favorites for the upcoming Oscars. Such number may not, however, mess up defects. One has the impression that STRICTLY CRIMINAL wants to be a great fresco of mafia but it reduces to the magnitude of the task. It had everything, to make a film of rich, a tragedy powerful except that Scott Cooper , in fact, a film clamped. Little, see not, great memorable scenes and the tragic dimension of this anti-hero is quickly left in the closet then she was going to damn well (the son, the fraternal relations, the sense of loyalty). The cuts made during the editing (Scott Cooper is said to have sacrificed totally a character played by Sienna Miller) can be the cause of certain weaknesses – so this lack of scale – but, in our opinion, cannot be responsible for everything.
“If there’s a reason to see STRICTLY CRIMINAL, it is for the benefit demented Johnny Depp, which should position it as one of the favorites for the upcoming Oscars.”
The end of the film is experienced as a glaring admission of weakness, setting the fate of all the characters via cardboard boxes announcing this they have became. Cooper master when he filmed the beginning of the climb and to runaway but doesn’t know how to negotiate the fall of his protagonists, it does nothing emotionally and cinematically. The Fires of Anger shone in being a film honest and modest,who did not seek to be greater than what it could be. Unlike STRICTLY CRIMINAL lack of size. A film of gangsters is far to be unpleasant, preventing any single one of become a significant work. Rest Johnny Depp, accompanied by a cast solid, formidable as it has been for far too long and whose performance made impressive visual artifice does not sabotage this time not the movie, but, miraculously, keep us alive with brilliance.
THE OTHER OUTPUTS OF THE 25/11/15
• Original title : Black Mass
• Achievement : Scott Cooper
• Scenario : Mark Mallouk, Jez Butterworth, based on Dick Lehr and Gerard O’neill
• Main actors : Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson
• Country of origin : U. S. A.
• Released : November 25, 2015
• Duration : –
• Distributor : Warner Bros. France
• Synopsis : In the Boston of the 70’s, the agent, John Connolly of the FBI convinces the mafia irish James “Whitey” Bulger to collaborate with the FBI in order to eliminate their common enemy : the Italian Mafia. This drama tells the story of this alliance against nature that deteriorates and allows Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become a gangster of the most ruthless and the most powerful in the history of Boston.