Welcome back, Johnny!
I have to say; it’s about time Johnny Depp went back to more serious roles like this. Granted, the hair and makeup department did have to pull out all the stops to make him look believable as aging gang leader James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, but his acting really carried it through.
The film is based on the true story of Bulger, an organized crime boss of the South Boston ‘Winter Hill’ gang. Whitey’s brother Billy (Bennedict Cumberbatch) is a senator, and his childhood friend John (Joel Edgerton) has since joined the ranks of the FBI. When John decides to enlist Whitey as an informant to take down a rival mafia gang he inadvertently gives him the ability to run rampant.
It wasn’t until I started to write this review that I realized how little there is to the film aside from some stellar acting performances. The fierceness of Depp as Whitey Bulger is probably the most entertaining part of all. He is completely ruthless and takes no prisoners. In true gangster style, he reserves all of his love and compassion for his family.
It’s an enjoyable film in general, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.
Black Mass premieres in Sweden on September 25.