It’s always a pleasure to watch Johnny Depp on the big screen and BLACK MASS is no exception. The epic story of Whitey Bulger (Depp), a violent criminal in South Boston who became an informant with the FBI and in return was able to evade charges and became a huge kingpin. Seemingly a good guy raising a family, Whitey was much more. Brother to a state senator and caring son. But on the flip side a dark killing machine.
Whitey becomes a target of other Mafia families looking to take over his territory. He discovers this from his childhood friend John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) who is now working for the FBI. After a few discussions and realizing he wants to protect his territory he agrees to provide the FBI information, in exchange he is kept in the loop as well. Also being protect by Connolly from any potential legal trouble. As months go by and Whitey’s alliance does not seem to be helping the FBI at all he gives them something they can sink their teeth into.
After this it seems like Whitey is untouchable and more powerful than ever. Connolly has joined in with his group and is in just as deep. However, a kingpin can’t rule forever. When a new district attorney takes over he focuses in on Whitey and his relationships with Connolly and other FBI agents. It is obvious that their is a form of protection and he is wanting to break that and bring Whitey up on charges of murder, racketeering and drug dealing. Seemingly untouchable Whitey dodged charges for years and then evades the FBI for 16 years on the run.
BLACK MASS is an intriguing tale and has a Godfather feel. It is not a classic, but a good history lesson into the life of Bulger and South Boston during the late 1970’s. For the most part the film moved smoothly, a few editing parts that felt jarred, but overall a good entertainment. Johnny Depp easily transcends into sociopath Bulger’s mind and portrays him to perfection. The supporting cast especially those of Joel Edgerton and Rory Cochrane make the film. If you enjoy dark mobster movies this is the one for you!