Cert: 15 Runtime: 122 mins Director: Scott Cooper Cast: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Jesse Plemons, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll and Kevin Bacon
Take your shot but make it your best. ‘Cause I get up, I eat ya
Let’s be honest 80% who will watch Black Mass will view it purely for the Depp’s transformation. That put to one side Black Mass did grab my attention. Any form of real life gangster story I will give it a go. Depp has been on a poor run of form as of late with the likes of Mortdecai and Transcendence surely this will be his revival? So what is Black Mass about? While his brother Bill (Benedict Cumberbatch) remains a powerful leader in the Massachusetts Senate, Irish hoodlum James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) continues to pursue a life of crime in 1970s Boston. Approached by FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), the lawman convinces Whitey to help the agency fight the Italian mob. As their unholy alliance spirals out of control, Bulger increases his power and evades capture to become one of the most dangerous gangsters in U.S. history.Aside from the brilliant performance given by Johnny Depp, I actually expected many more aspects of this film to be just as excellent. Scott Cooper and his team of screenwriters knew they could have done anything they wanted with the material at hand, but their efforts can only be described as ‘decent’ at best.
Half the time, I felt like I was watching separate segments of a miniseries edited together than a movie with a naturally flowing narrative. Each time a sequence – which is equal to an important event within Whitey Bulger’s life – fades to black, the film jumps across a considerable amount of time before focusing on the next important event in his life. I also felt that most of the ensemble cast was wasted. Many of the supporting actors are fantastic in their roles, but their screen- time is limited to such a degree that they barely leave any sort of impression on you. It may be easy to say that Depp’s performance overshadowed everyone else’s, but that doesn’t explain why the film cycles through most of its characters without going into much detail of their lives.Yet for some reason, the film still feels like it tries to squeeze too much into its runtime. There were times I had trouble trying to follow the plot all because I couldn’t keep track of the sheer number of cardboard characters that were seemingly appearing from out of nowhere.