Johnny Depp plays the feared James Whitey Bulgar in Black Mass (2015) as Depp indulges in his character’s intrinsic behavior via multiple added accessories such as:

  • Contact lenses
  • Crazy teeth
  • Hairpieces
  • Prosthetics

Along with that, comes strange mannerisms of the 70s era of a notorious gangster mastermind. His visual appearance is dreadful, with sunglasses on dark blue eyes, teeth stained with tobacco and slicked back hair.

Depp adopts a southern accent due to character’s requirement of a native Boston, similar to that of Mathew McConaghey in True Detective. Johnny Depp is the show-stealer with hisgruesome portrayal of superhuman cruelty. He’s a murderer, out and out. Deep down, his primary motive is to become Boston’s ultimate criminal mastermind, a motive backed by sociopathic character.

Black Mass furnishes no reasoning for this sort of human behavior.

It shows the clichéd transformation of a saddened individual into a murderous character due to chain of events. Bulger dishes out cold death to those coming in his path.

Cast

  • Johnny Depp
  • Joel Edgerton
  • Dakota Johnson
  • Benedict Cumberbatch

Director

  • Scott Cooper

Plot

The plot revolves around the protagonist, Whitey Bulger, the most vicious criminal mastermind in South Boston’s history with a senator brother attempting to take down mafia family.

Story-arc

The movie is about the infamous rise of Bulger through traumatizing events, compelling Bulger to become more brutal and violent, graduating to the most feared criminal bosses of American history. The screenplay is penned by Jez Butterworth and Mark Mallouk, based on accounts of Gerard O Neill and Dick Lehr.

John Connolly is Bulger’s old pal, a recently converted CI for FBI tasked with bringing down the Italian mafia up north.

Connolly keeps Bulger close to his chest, for his own varied reasons. Bulger graduates from petty gambling and theft to drugs and ammunition as Italian mafia falls to its knees.

The movie moves along with Connolly for a bit, as he defects from his previous handler (Kevin Bacon), making Bulger a key player in bringing down the Italians. Joel Edgerton plays his character strongly, portraying his slippery nature, coupled with Depp’s dazzling performance, overshadowing the remainder cast.

Connolly remains a true loyalist, a blood bond between them, frequenting Bulger family at Christmas dinners with politician Billy, a member in House of Representatives and Massachusetts Senate.

As opposed to Depp’s distracting overall look in this summer’s blockbuster, the movie’s story-arc narrative is somewhat lopsided, alternating from flashbacks to the 70s eras, followed by confessions issued by Bulger’s noted henchmen.

Johnny Depp is helped along with competitive character actors such as:

  • Jesse Plemons
  • Corey Stoll
  • Peter Sarsgaard
  • Earn Brown

The narrative of the movie remains lopsided in its entirety. How come Bulger’s henchmen have inside information about protagonist’s private life? Overall, it’s a Johnny Depp movie, out and out, a reason enough to watch the movie with redundant density. It’s his best performance since Public Enemies 2009.

Clichéd plot

Overall, it is another mix cliched tropegangster violence movie with the usual gang violence, betrayals, no plot twist, ratting out, Goodfellas inspiration and lastly, sociopathic behavior are the hallmarks of this film.

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