Black Mass – How many times can you say the f-word?
This movie is f-word overload and somewhere in there Johnny Depp is trying to act. Okay, so this movie has pretty good acting, but it’s not The Godfather, although it tries to be. Black Mass (2015) is a gangster movie, but it’s not a gangster movie like The Godfather and it’s not a gangster movie like The Untouchables or even Goodfellas. It’s a modern gangster movie with less gangster and more political manipulation crap. Just to prove it’s a gangster movie, Johnny Depp and his pals say the f-word 234 times, which joins such company as Pulp Fiction, Straight Outta Compton, and F***-a documentary on the word.
The king of the f-word in a movie is surprisingly NOT the aforementioned F***-a documentary on the word, but another loathsome tale from 2014 called Swearnet: The Movie. Wikipedia actually has an article on this crap if you can believe it. It’s true, they list all the swearwords and their frequency in movies, the f-word being the top article.
Not counting movies ABOUT the f-word (cause that’s cheating), the movie with the most uses of the f-word (according to the brilliantly useful Wikipedia) is The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). That’s right, Leo Di-F-This was in a movie that had 569 instances of the f-word. That’s over 200 more than the crapladen Black Mass. Makes my ears hurt more than listening to R. Lee Emrey speak.
If you can get beyond the f-word, there’s actually a story in Black Mass. Somewhere. It’s based on a true story, which means they’ve condensed months and years of drama into around two hours. That never works, let me tell you. Still, the story of James “Whitey” Bulger is interesting. He played the FBI like a harp to gain power in the 80s, then took off like Lance Armstrong when things went south. Never fear, he was recaptured in 2011.
I think the direction is pretty decent and worth a mention. The movie was directed by Scott Cooper, who hasn’t done squat to my knowledge. He directed Out of the Furance in 2013, a movie nobody saw and tanked at the box office. Too bad.
Anyway, Black Mass is decent, but I’d be embarrassed to watch it with anyone who wears a sportjacket or a tie. It’s worth one viewing at least, just to see Johnny Depp stretch himself beyond piracy. He does a good job. Benedict Cumberbatch is crap in this movie, on the other hand. He tries to do a Boston accent and it sounds forced. He sounds like an idiot. Kevin Bacon turns up and I was surprised to see him, but he has bumbkiss (nothing) to do. Dakota Johnson has more to do as Whitey’s wife and she has a good performance as a result, so I can see the script needed some revisions to balance things out for people. Overall, it’s alright, but I couldn’t find any larger themes this time because they were drowned out by the profanity.