Fresh off of Festival season and slowly leading into Award season, there are many movies in the 4th quarter that have built up a lot of buzz, and one name that was in the constant chatter for garnering awards is none other than Captain Jack Sparrow aka Edward Scissorhands aka Johnny Depp. There aren’t a lot of roles that Depp wouldn’t do, but there are a bunch of roles that he hasn’t quite touched. He can do the evil, he can do the comedic, he even does wacky, but in terms of a cold-blooded (and real) gangster in the heart of South Boston, that part we haven’t seen yet. We’ve seen it from the likes of Jack Nicholson, whose character was brought about by Martin Scorsese, which was inspired by James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, whom Johnny Depp plays in this movie. It’s safe to say that the expectations were high, and since Johnny is a great actor in his own right, I was very much anticipating what he would bring to the table.
Between the aforementioned Departed, and The Town, it’s clear that the city of Boston (South Boston to be exact) isn’t one that’s particularly friendly. In terms of the dangerous parts of America, I’m sure it gets thrown in the discussion, but it’s never really brought to light until some movies (like these ones) highlight the grittiness of the environment. One man who ruled the South with an iron fist was none other than James Bulger, and being that I had not known anything about him prior outside of his fictitious portrayal in The Departed, it was all new to me in terms of his involvement with the FBI and also the connections he had politically that tied into his family. The movie had a feel like Departed, but more so centred around the humanizing of Whitey during the important years of his activity – the start-up and the sequence of events that led him to being one of the most dangerous men in North America. It also shows just how far some local friends who happen to connect will go to protect themselves long enough to get a piece of the pie within the criminal game. It’s a dangerous line that many like to walk, and it was evidenced here as well.
Johnny Depp knocked this out of the park, stepping outside of his safe zone to embrace a role that is evil, sinister, and ruthless, but of the most importance, human. You see the struggle, you see the desperation, you see the manipulation that would lead me to believe that James Bulger was that type of person in real life. There are moments within the movie where I even got chills sent down because of the maniacal delivery when put into tense situations. It’s impactful from the very beginning, and the supporting roles shape the movie as a great product overall. It’s to no surprise that he’s getting the attention for this role, because he truly did a great job. I’d definitely recommend it, but for now, this is my opinion, this is my review
That’s My Word & It STiXX