Gangsters, not sure what to say about them. They do bad shit, I guess that’s all I can say for now. Moving on.
Ladies and gents… “Gangster Squad”.
Los Angeles, late 1940s. Crime is everywhere, and the town is more or less run by the biggest criminal of them all: Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). This isn’t liked by those officers of the law who haven’t been corrupted yet. So police sergeant John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) forms a certain team that is willing to do whatever it takes to take Cohen down. And the plot in itself is… pretty good. The biggest problem with it is how it goes on for a while with a very straighforward story, but then opens a door leading to the theme of morals and such. They touch on that theme, but they don’t explore it. So it kind of bugged me a bit afterwards. At first it was basically just a gangster-based popcorn flick, but then it tried to be deep for two minutes and left the door open without using that little thing to it’s advantage to tell a compelling plot… so I have to take a little bit away from it. Don’t lightly touch upon a subject like that and then do nothing with it! (Advice for aspiring writers).
The characters in the movie are not the most interesting, but they aren’t bad. Josh Brolin is awesome as John O’Mara, playing a real badass with a clear goal/agenda. Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen, he’s really good. Ryan Gosling plays a young cop who easily snaps and he’s good in the movie. We also get really good performances from people like Emma Stone, Robert Patrick, Michael Peña, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, and Nick Nolte. Yeah, the it’s a very well acted movie.
The score was composed by Steve Jablonsky, and I think he did a pretty good job here. Sure, the score is kind of generic and I probably won’t remember it anytime in the near future, but it was pretty good and it fit the movie pretty well. There were also a lot of older licensed tracks throughout the movie that were really good and actually fit very well in the scenes.
This movie was directed by Ruben Fleischer and this is where I am a bit split. Because the movie is very well directed with scenes flowing pretty well, but the problem is that there are some tonal inconsistencies throughout. But that’s also kind of the risk when you take a director primarily known for comedy and then put him on a serious movie. But to make up for it, this movie looks fucking gorgeous, with some really good cinematography and a bit of stylish editing. This of course makes for some pretty cool and tense action scenes. Speaking of action, this movie is really fucking violent. I didn’t mind it too much, but I can tell that some people will have some problems with it.
This movie has not been too well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 31% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/10. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.
“Gangster Squad” is an entertaining movie that wasted some of the potential that it had. The plot is okay, the characters are okay, the acting is great, the music is okay, and the directing/cinematography is terrific. Though it is bogged down by some narrative flaws, characters not being that interesting, and also some tonal inconsistencies. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Gangster Squad” is a 7,99/10. So it’s far from from perfect, but it’s definitely worth a rental.
My review of “Gangster Squad” is now completed.
This feels like what would happen if Zack Snyder would’ve directed “The Untouchables”.