Universal Forces Film Critic to Redact Negative Early Review of Public Enemies

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Photo: Courtesy of Universal

Ever since we first heard Johnny Depp would be teaming up with Michael Mann, we've been anxiously awaiting the July 1 opening of Public Enemies. And although we're going to wait to see the film for ourselves before we pass judgment on the merits of the finished product, if you've been keeping your eyes and ears open, you've no doubt heard bits of negative buzz wafting their way around the Internet. The most vocal example came from New York Post reporter Lou Lumenick, who saw the film when it was screened for members of the media in Manhattan earlier this week and then wrote a largely unfavorable review of it — one that broke Universal's review embargo — that was posted online. As you can imagine, Universal was none too happy about these developments.

As the Playlist reports, Universal was successful at not only getting Lumenick and the Post to redact most of the review on the grounds that they had broken the review-embargo date, but now it seems virtually every trace of the review has been scrubbed from Google's all-seeing and all-knowing cache. Even Vulture buddy Jeffrey Wells, a noted Mann enthusiast, found himself caught up in the mini-brouhaha; he had written a blog post that had liberally quoted from Lumenick's review, but that post has since been deleted. It is not entirely clear what role (if any) Universal played in that matter.

However, thanks to the magic of RSS, we still have slight bits and pieces from Wells's since-redacted post to share with you:

New York Post critic Lou Lumenick has given Michael Mann's Public Enemies the back of his hand. "Curiously uninvolving," he says. There will be "reflexive raves," he allows, but no Oscar action outside of tech noms. The only real plusses, he says, are "some of the best choreographed machine-gun battles ever and some eye-popping art direction." Lumenick is pretty much a Mann hater, calling him "the most overrated auteur currently working in Hollywood," so take this with a grain. I thought there was an embargo in place on Public Enemies until next Tuesday ... no? "Disappointingly, I think Michael Mann's much-anticipated Public Enemies' — which ...

While Universal won't be able to continue to keep reviews of the film from popping up online much longer — the film opens in less than two weeks — we would like to remind them that things could've gone a lot worse for them. Look on the bright side, guys, at least Roger Friedman wasn't able to find a copy of this movie on BitTorrent!

Premature 'Public Enemies' Review Gets Pulled [Playlist]