Wednesday night, I was able to score some advance screening tickets to Black Mass, staring Johnny Depp and Dakota Johnson. I’ll admit that gangster movies are not my favorite genre of film, though I do still enjoy them when they’re done right. Black Mass was done right!
The film tells the story of Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious crime boss and murderer in South Boston. The character of Jimmy is an interesting one, the type of guy who if he’s on your side will take good care of you and defend you until the end. If he doesn’t like you, he doesn’t have a problem killing you either. He’s the guy you either love, or hide from.
The film stars an all-star cast with Johnny Depp, Joel Egerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon and of course Dakota Johnson. The acting in the film was fantastic! Johnny Depp and the rest of the cast really brought their A game to this film. Although Dakota Johnson’s role was small, only about 3 or 4 scenes she should huge range as an actress. She had funny scenes, serious scenes, and very dramatic scenes as the mother of Jimmy’s child. Her Boston accent was great, though I’m curious what the Bostonian’s think.
One of the reasons I’m not a big fan of this type of movie is because I’m not a big fan of violence in movies. I’ve never recovered after seeing Passion of the Christ. Although there was quite a bit of death and killing in the film, it did not feel overly gratuitous, there was only one or two scenes that were a bit too much for me.
But the real star of the show was in the feel of it. I felt like I was back in the late 70s and early 80s South Boston (Southy) watching a crime boss run and grow his empire. To me, the sign of a great film is not if the acting is great, or the story is great – it’s putting those together so that when I leave the theatre I believe it all really happened and I want to know even more about it that the film couldn’t tell me.
Black Mass delivered that.