Public Enemies sacrifices plot for character development and comes up short. It attempts to tell the story of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) a self styled Robin Hood bank robber, operating in the time of the great depression and Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) as the FBI agent assigned to bring him to justice. Having to such notable leading men, I believe that Michael Mann decided to let their talents shine through character development , however as the construction of the plot was so week, in that it was often hard to follow what was happening due to a lack of detail, this simply does not work. Far too little appears to happen to maintain any sort of interest. And in terms of the aforementioned leading men, they appear to be in competition with each other over who is the superior actor and just end up hamming it up, with over acted nonsense. On a plus note the film was gloriously stylised and thus beautiful to look at, every moment on screen appeared to be in the era of the great depression due to meticulous attention to detail. In trying to push its leading men to the forefront Mann forgets that the most important aspect of film making is to tell a story.