I saw a screening of Gangster Squad last night and to say the least, I was not disappointed. Cast with the likes of Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, you can expect something fantastic. But sadly, nothing was exceptional. So what went wrong? The movie looked like a cliché of every gangster movie out there. The characters are cliches, the plot somewhat yes, screenplay a bit loose.
Cohen played by Sean Penn- a powerful thug in his day, opens the film by ripping a person, and then feeding the remains to the wolves. Josh Brolin, plays the squad’s incorruptible leader who is a war veteran with guerrilla-warfare training. Police Chief William Parker (Nick Nolte)—another real-life character Brolin with putting together a team to take down Cohen by any means necessary. He selects a typical smart guy, an old outlaw and a side kick, a black guy, and a playboy cop who doesn’t want to join at first but in the end he has to because of some reason. How original!
It’s loud, and full of carnage, but very little of it is memorable. Sean Penn does justice to his role of Cohen. Ryan Gosling,sounds weird, doesn’t get much to do other than look handsome, and occasionally shoot someone. I have always liked Brolin and without being biased towards him, he did a good job with the role. I feel he just tried to hard. Emma Stone, well all she can do is look good and she just did that. The rest of the squad- Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Pena, and Robert Patrick, did there job and were average. Director Ruben Fleischer, script by Will Beall, struggles to give the film any style of it’s own. The story is good but could have been shown in a better way. The slow motion action sequence in the end looked completely out of place and not required. Dialogues witty sometimes, cheesy other times.
Overall Gangster Squad had the potential to be absolutely amazing. It has an attractive cast and some touches of humor, but it looks like a desperate attempt to better other gangster films. Watch it just and just for entertainment.
Rating- 2.5 out of 5