Film Review: Gangster Squad

| 10 January , 2013 | Reply

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Staring: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone
Sassi’s Star Rating: 3.5/5

Smoking gats, pretty dames, and sharp suits are the basis for Ruben Fleischer’s new gang flick Gangster Squad. Set in 1940’s Hollywood(land), Gangster Squad follows the rise of notorious real life gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) to power – and the vigilante group that tried to take him down.

Recently returned war hero Sgt John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) is back in L.A and doesn’t like what he sees. The paradise he left has been overrun with prostitution, gambling, and drug trafficking in his absence – all courtesy of the new kid on the block – brutal crime lord Micky Cohen. Tough guy O’Mara is sourced to lead a small crime force, commissioned by Police Chief Parker, one of the only cops at the top which hasn’t been bought out by Cohen. The trick? The squad is completely off the books – they’ll work in complete secrecy: no badges, no official resources, and no backup if anything goes wrong.

O’Mara and his pregnant wife (played by Mireille Enos) hand assemble a motley crew including the talented Michael Pena (End of Watch) as a wet behind the ears newbie, Giovanni Ribisi (Ted, Contraband) as the brainy, bomb expert, Robert Patrick as the hardened sharp shot, and Anthony Mackie as a knife welding ghetto cop. In other words Fleischer has assembled a talented cast of familiar faces which endear you to the brotherhood – even when they begin to question whether there is any difference between themselves as the criminals they are trying to take down.

The last addition to the crew is ladies man Jerry (Ryan Gosling) who is reluctant to play with fire, that is until Cohen gives him a solid reason to. In the mess, Jerry falls for Cohen’s etiquette coach Grace (Emma Stone). It means certain death for the two of them if Cohen ever finds out- but what’s the threat of dismemberment in the face of young love? Stone and Gosling reunite for the first time since Crazy, Stupid, Love and again capture the audience with that comfortable chemistry that won over hearts last time around. But despite the romantic aside, this isn’t a romance movie folks. It’s the action that takes centre stage.

An interesting mix of old world allure and brutal violence might leave you in mixed minds about whether this film glamorises the horrifying legacy of Mickey Cohen. One things is for sure, if you don’t like bloodshed then this film is not for you – and you’ll know it from the opening shots of a man being ripped apart by two cars.

Gangster Squad is attractive gangster flick with an impressive cast and lots of action. An added round of applause has to go out for the luscious costume and set design that can’t help steal the spotlight. A good option to please everyone on date night!

Gangster Squad is in cinemas now.


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Category: Film & TV

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