Black Mass Review

Is Johnny Depp basically married to his makeup? I mean seriously! He will never do a film unless he is covered in makeup and has a funky accent.

Black Mass is directed by Scott Cooper and stars a humongously talented cast of Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Dakota Johnson, Adam Scott, and Juno Temple. It is based off the true story of James ‘Whitey’ Boulger with Johnny Depp playing the notorious gangster.

I have never been on the Johnny Depp train. Mainly because I didn’t grow up watching his movies when I was kid. I don’t mind him, but granted he hasn’t been making many good movies lately, but what got me interested was the director attached to this. The director for the film is named Scott Cooper and he has been known as a fantastic ‘actors’ director in the film industry. Which means (in my book at most) getting the best performance out of actors.

If you go back to Cooper’s previous film,Out of The Furnace, it also had an all star cast and talented stars like Christian Bale, Forest Whitaker, William Dafoe, Casey Affleck, and more. From what I hear, the movie wasn’t good, however the performances are fantastic in the film. So, going into this, I knew that I would at least expect good performances. I got that for sure, however the movie is sadly hollow.

If you go into this strictly for the performances, You will get satisfaction no doubt. Johnny Depp is absolutely chilling, and never once did I think I was seeing Depp in some funky costume.

The thing about Johnny Depp is audiences sometimes criticize him for having the same acting style for in every movie he does. Well, maybe he just wants to be creative with his acting and not underutilized his talent by playing some ordinary man. Speaking of which, everyone in this cast feels so natural to the role they play in this film. Never once did I think “Oh! That’s Benedict Cumberbatch”, “Oh! that’s Joel Edgerton”. Everyone in this fits the part of the characters they are portraying.

However, the film never had me emotionally invested. There is something about this film that did not bring that emotional punch for me towards the end. Despite having tremendous performances. Despite being well-shot by cinematographer Masanobu Takayangi. A lot of its film making aspects are passable, but its story problems are hard to ignore.

I was more invested in Johnny Depp killing people as Boulger than watching the FBI subplot where they are trying to find evidence to send Boulger to jail for all the crimes he committed. That maybe due to the fact that a lot of the film’s dialogue feels rather dull and kind of standard. I never complain about dialogue unless it is some simple drama or a Terrence Malick film, but in this I just would rather preferred a little more wit in the dialogue. Basically more energy. The reason I say this is because a lot of the film’s FBI crime dialogue, where detectives are talking about investigations and such. It just feels very standard and sounds like something out of Law&Order.

Black Mass is wonderfully directed and well acted, but its screenplay never had me emotionally invested into what was going on. Do I suggest you to see it? Sure! Just to see the performances.

Overall Grade: B

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