Starring: Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Pena, Robert Patrick, Nick Nolte, Mirellie Enos, Holt McCallany
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Inspired by True Events
Run Time: 113 min
Genre: Crime, Action, Drama
Release Date: January 11, 2013
My Score: 5.5 out of 10
Mob leader Mickey Cohen (Penn) owns Los Angeles and nothing can be done about it. That is until LAPD officer John O’Mara (Brolin) puts together a secret squad that is willing to break the rules to get Cohen and his crime out of LA forever.
Gangster Squad should have been amazing with the premise of the movie and its amazingly talented cast, but unfortunately falls to the curse of Hollywood adaptations of most true stories and a great cast: not being able to connect everything it has going for it to make it a good movie. The script gives the actors no room to act and create an interesting character which is too bad as they are all so talented, especially Emma Stone but still manages to steal every scene she is in, but leaves the characters extremely stereotypical and when its gets serious you really don’t care too much for the character which takes away from the film. The plot itself, basic and pretty predictable, which would have been fine with good performances but there isn’t enough to keep the two hour moving exciting and griping for the entire film.
Granted, Gangster Squad had some great aspects. For starters, the set design and costumes in the film were great. Felt like you were in L.A. in the 40’s and it was just great. Made the movie very visual and lots of fun on that part, especially the amazing dresses that Emma Stone wore which had the slit up the leg which teased, which was great fun! (Think Angelina Jolie but she can actually pull it off!) The movie was also quite comical at parts, which was great. Broke the tension of the movie trying to be super intense and dramatic, and made it fun and light for those few moments which helped the movie progress. Also, the action is pretty good too. I thought some of the blood was unnecessary as it wanted to be gory but didn’t go all the way, so it felt like it served little purpose. The final fight scene was very well done, exciting and a thrilling end to the movie. There is no denying that Gangster Squad is a fun movie to enjoy and forget about the world for two hours, but its after when you are left going “that was okay” and wanting it to be much better as it had that potential.
Gangster Squad is entertaining and fun, but is nothing to rave about and definitely missed the mark as it had the potential to be one of 2013’s great action films from its cast and premise alone. Oh well…