Black Mass: Review / by Kenneth Buff

In Black Mass Johnny Depp is taking a page out of the Christian Bale book, undergoing a physical transformation in order to better play his part of the Boston gangster, James "Whitey" Bulger. In The film Depp is over weight and pasty white. He dawns eerily light blue contacts that you never really buy are his true eye color—they look too unnatural, as if he weren't even human, but instead of the viewer associating that with him being a brutal monster, it just makes him look a little like Orlando Bloom in Lord of The Rings. Depp also sports a receding hair line that goes all the way back, leaving him with a few strands to grease and slick back. It goes without saying that the transformation definitely helps to hide Depp, who I for one have lost faith in after the numerous duds he's produced with Tim Burton over the last five-or-so years, but does it enhance the role? That's harder to say.

As far as the film goes, it's your typical mid level gangster movie. It drags in many parts, and is at least a half hour too long. It never comes close to the levels of any of Scorsese's mob flicks, or even b-side gangster movies like Lawless or Road To Perdition, but it is watchable, and Depp is more engaging here than he has been in years.