Movie: Black Mass (2015)
Director: Scott Cooper
Writer: Mark Mallouk (screenplay), Jez Butterworth (screenplay), Dick Lehr (book), & Gerard O'Neill (book)
Cast: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Juno Temple, & David Harbour
One-Line Plot Synopsis: The story of crime boss Whitey Bulger in South Boston.
I have to say, I was really excited when I heard that there was going to be a movie coming out about Whitey Bulger, the infamous Boston gangster who was on the run for years and years that he basically became a myth of a person. The fact that Johnny Depp was going to be playing him shot my expectations up even more and gave me flashbacks of the Italian crime scene and vibe of the great Donnie Brasco. THEN, I check out the cast and it's filled to the top with great actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons...the list goes on and on with a ton of great guys to fill in both sides of the law enforcement and gangster entourages.
However, everything just came up so freaking underwhelming in this movie. Johnny Depp no longer knows how to play something that isn't completely over the top. His Whitey Bulger portrayal just keeps reminding you that it's Johnny Depp in a Whitey Bulger costume. That may not make any sense to anyone but in my head it's exactly what's going on. Instead of embodying a character, I just see it as Johnny Depp, just made up to look slightly different.
Every single time that I thought the movie was gaining some momentum, it just turned back to some dreadful Boston accents and stalled out again.
Jesse Plemons continues to be a bright spot in every thing he pops up in and is trying his damnedest to cement himself as the best FNL alum out there. The opening scene with him as the bouncer of the bar might have been my favorite of the entire movie. He looks like what I imagine the love child of Matt Damon and Philip Seymour Hoffman would come out as.
I wanted to post the opening scene where Plemons is the bouncer of a bar but that is apparently the only scene that is not anywhere on the Internet. Instead, you'll have to settle for the scene right after it.
Benedict Cumberbatch was completely underutilized. He barely did anything in the movie and could have completely not even been there and it wouldn't have made much of a difference in the movie. That's when you know that your botching casting him here because his character is completely unimportant. With him or without him, the movie is basically exactly the same.
I will continue to be a Joel Edgeton super-supporter and sing his praises as long as I watch movies. I just love that guy.
Staying on the topic of actors who I love, man is Peter Sarsgaard fucking underrated. When that dude comes to play, he's on another level. I still think that Shattered Glass is one of the most underrated movies out there for the great acting performances across the board that it has. Garden State, Jarhead, The Salton Sea, An Education...when Saragaard is on his game, he's a freaking treat to watch. Plus, he basically single-handedly brought back The Killing in season 3 (quick shout out to Joel Kinneman and Bex Taylor-Klaus aka Bullet for being awesome too).