Johnny Depp has managed to deliver one of his strongest performances to date but the performance might not be resonant throughout the whole story and characters.
Johnny Depp gets under the skin of James "Whitey" Bulger, a small-time gangster and leader of the Irish-American Winter Hill Gang who turned to bigger and better things. Black Mass follows Whitey’s journey and rise to criminal fame across the span of 20 years through the 70s to the 90s.
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Bulger was a small time gangster who hit it big time when put under the protection offered by John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), an FBI agent. The protection came under the stance of being an informant to the FBI against the northern Angiulo Brothers, a rising and powerful family group with ties to the mafia.
The story follows the deterioration of Bulger’s personal life as he rises to power, his growing relationship with Connolly and his terrifying reign in the criminal world. Their fates goe downhill from there as their operation falls apart, they are exposed as informants and are eventually arrested.
Johnny Depp has delivered what might be called one of his best performances to date. Generally quipped with playing roles that might be categorized as fantastical rather than real. His roles include a pirate, a vampire, a scissor-handed man and a demon barber.
Johnny Depp is accustomed to playing roles that are not “normal”. He has tried his mantle in historical and real roles like John Dillinger in Public Enemies and George Jung in Blow. The roles didn’t work out for him.
Some critics believe that finesse comes with age and experience. This seems to be the case with Depp’s Bulger. Supporting a ghoulish look with stark blue ghostly eyes and a pale pallor with blonde balding crown of hair, Depp has delivered a performance that critics are calling menacingly brilliant and villainous.
His performance was reminiscent of his earlier performances in Donnie Brasco. Except this movie features a very dark, raw and charismatic version of Depp’s acting.
The not so good side of Black Mass is in the opinion of critics is, that the story does not deliver as well as Depp’s performance. The storyline is not as dynamic as it could have been.
It lacks female presence and the parables of the characters are not as strong as they might have been. The acting of the actors is well performed but not on the same level as Depp’s. The cast includes Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Dakota Johnson.
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