The trailer for Black Mass lead me to believe that Black Mass was just going to be Goodfellas starring Johnny Depp. And for someone like me who didn’t enjoy Goodfellas all that much, I was thinking that this would be better in some way. It isn’t.
Black Mass is a drama crime film based on the true story of James “Whitey” Bulger, the leader of the Winter Hill gang and one of the most infamous criminals in the history of the United States, and his uneasy alliance with the FBI through the connection of his childhood friend John Connolly (played by Joel Edgerton).
Whilst watching Black Mass, I was constantly comparing it to Goodfellas because they followed the same story concept. They’re both organised-crime dramas that follow the evolution of a gang over a few decades, however the story of Black Mass is far more interesting than Goodfellas and has a more interesting lead character. That’s the only area in which Black Mass trumps Goodfellas.
One of the main reasons I was so hyped for Black Mass is that Johnny Depp’s performance was said to be “Oscar-Worthy” but it wasn’t. I will admit that Depp is good in this role and he’s almost unrecognisable but the writing was trying to imply that he’s a monster of a man however Depp didn’t fully convince me that he was. He seemed to be playing someone else. However Joel Edgerton was great as John Connolly and further proves that he’s one of the best rising talents in modern film.
Black Mass doesn’t showcase any really great directing or producing or sound or cinematography or anything non-story wise. All of Black Mass‘s credit goes to the story. But all in all, movies are about telling a story and Black Mass‘s story is really interesting. If it had better directing, better acting, better cinematography and better pacing, then it might have been a great movie.
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