Black Mass is Johnny Depp’s way of redeeming himself of the countless sling of unfortunately awful movies he’s made fans endure in the last five years. Countless is harsh, let’s say SIX (The Rum Diary, Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, Transcendence, Into The Woods & finally, undeniably the worst: Mortdecai). But Black Mass proves Johnny Depp is taking himself & career more seriously. WAY more seriously.
I can easily say Johnny Depp hit his groove playing James “Whitey” Bulger in the crime biographical pic Black Mass (2015). He really found the grit that he needed to play the part of the violent criminal himself (depending on how much was accurate). Nonetheless, Johnny Depp’s performance in the film is astonishing.
The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf/the Winter Hill Gang. (IMDB.com)
Black Mass Review:
The film is told in flashback form, with Bulger’s former associates (from the Winter Hill Gang) confessing the crimes and incidents, before they play out for the audience. The execution and pacing of the scenes showing Bulger’s rise from small town hitter to most wanted by the F.B.I. exemplify what James “Whitey” Bulger was: strictly criminal.
As stated earlier, Johnny Depp as James “Whitey” Bulger is a home run for the actor, but the rest of the cast were almost as phenomenal as he. The supporting roles Joel Edgerton, David Harbour, Peter Sarsgaard, Rory Cochrane & Jesse Plemons proved themselves worthy of sharing the screen. Of course Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Adam Scott and Kevin Bacon were pivotal for the film, but they just weren’t my focus throughout. Honestly, I expected a better performance from Cumberbatch, who had a half whispered attempt at a Boston accent which felt uncomfortable, to say the least. When it came to the emotional scenes between his character & his brother, Benedict solidified that he can act. Maybe just not with a Boston accent.
The film itself was dark, edgy and uncompromisingly violent. All things that make for a good gangster flick. Add in the truth and you have a winner. There wasn’t a break from the insanity that was James “Whitey” Bulger, but there was perhaps some sense of sympathy for the devil – no matter who he convinced to follow him, who he killed or whatever he did, the F.B.I. continued to let him get away with it and one time, they even partied with Bulger to celebrate. This movie lead to worthy performances by Depp, Edgerton & Plemons. When the credits rolled, the names of the actor were placed over photos of the real members of the Winter Hill Gang, and some couldn’t tell the difference.
Black Mass is a winner and Johnny Depp is too, again. Do yourself a favour, watch Black Mass. It’s gritty, it’s messed up, and most of all, it’s the best Johnny Depp movie I’ve ever seen.
What did you think about Black Mass? Any thoughts on Johnny Depp’s performance? Are you going to see the movie (if you haven’t already)?
Let us know below!
9/23/2015 – 1:00 am