No Names. No Badges. No Mercy.
Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and — if he has his way — every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop… except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.
"5 stars?" You probably cry?
"But what about all these terrible reviews I've been reading?, surely you have made some mistake Daryl?"
Well, I haven't.
I had hoped that Gangster Squad would present The Untouchables in the style of Robert Rodriguez. What I just watched was The Untouchables: The Graphic Novel. Violence is turned all the way up, the 1940's-ness is turned up, the style, dialogue, look and feel, are all turned all the way up. And it is brilliant to watch.
Sean Penn out Capone's De Niro. His character is genuinely frightening. He has been given, and delivers some absolutely brilliant bad guy dialogue. Every Yang needs a Yin, and Penn's is Josh Brolan. Is he the new Stallone?…
If you ever need to explain what Pulp is, point people towards Gangster Squad. It is a prime example of a blueprint plot, filled with cardboard cut-outs and no real people. If you have seen at least one action film in your life, you'll know who is going to die when, what their last words will be and how the finale will play out. Everything is telegraphed so clearly, it'll make you feel like a psychic.
The first act gave me hope as it seemed to embrace and be fully aware of its hyper stylized silliness. Had it been able to maintain this, I'd probably have liked it a whole lot more, but it unfortunately doesn't. What it does do…
HEY! HEY, FLEISCHER! YOU FORGOT THE SUBSTANCE!! Oh, and the character development. I bet you left them on the counter. Maybe you should have turned around and gone back for them before finishing this film.
Seriously though, there's plenty of stuff to like here: the style, violence, and cast are all excellent, but it's all held back by a sub-par plot and weak character development. All of the performances are good, but we don't get to know much about these characters at all so they're just there to fill the space. It's all rather disappointing since I had high hopes for this film.
If you don't need character development, you may enjoy this film more than I did, but the…
"Here comes Santy Claus!" - Mickey Cohen
Well, this is my first film that I've seen that is released in 2013. Start the year off with something pretty average, and it can only get better. Right? It better do.
I might as well start the review off with the good points. The cast. On paper, they're simply stratospheric. In reality, they're good. Sean Penn over-acts the hell out of Mickey Cohen, not necessarily making it a 'quality' piece of acting, but certainly entertaining us. He mumbles like Stallone, screams like Cage on coke. It's bizarre, and almost like he's sapping the life out of the rest of the cast. Everyone else has delivered pretty awesome performances in their time, and…
I saw Gangster Squad about 2 hours ago and it has already left my mind. There's nothing here to really chew on because there's absolutely no bit of substance. It's all flash, and features a script that probably wrote itself in how predictable every moment of it is. It's stupid, silly, but too serious at times to even be taken as the piece of pulp it probably wants to be.
That being said, for a January release, this isn't that bad, and there are far worse films you could spend your time on. While it never fully entertained me, I can honestly say I was never bored and it was over just as soon as it began. Its biggest crime is that it's unremarkable and easily forgettable, and in the Dump Months, that's a good thing.
This is another example that the trailer tricks movie fans into thinking this is going to be the next 'Goodfellas'.
Well, that's what I expected it to be and can totally understand why this has received bad reviews.
Ok,this is based on real events but the way this has been made doesn't take it seriously, which is the problem. The violence is too comical and (dare I say it) the acting is so wooden I felt this was more like the next 'Dick Tracey'.
Such a shame as the film is filled with great actors and everybody looked the part.
Due to the cinema shootings they had to re film a scene in Chinatown instead of a cinema,which didn't really…
Well... I was bored. 3 Points for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
Interesting re-take of what was the late 40s West Coast drug scene in the US.
It was a little slow but Ok.
Wer einen CrimeNoire-Thriller erwartet könnte stark enttäuscht werden, Gangster Squad ist nahezu ein reiner Aktionfilm der sich nur am Setting bedient. Wenn man darüber aber hinwegsehen kann wird man mit einem äußerst stylischen und unterhaltsamen Streifen belohnt. Etwas weniger Pathos hätte wohl nicht geschadet und die Story ist auch recht vorhersehbar, allerdings machen die vielen bekannten Gesichter diese kleinen Kritikpunkte mit einer gehörigen Portion Coolness wett.
I had a good time with this film against my better judgement. Some clever dialogue and thrilling action scenes but the uneven pacing was disconcerting and often took me out of the film. Gosling and Penn are excellent but it was a strange choice to have the main character played by a plank of wood with Josh Brolin's face painted on it.
LA Confidential meets the Untouchables with a bit more of an in your face brutality.
Its worth a watch if nothing more than Emma Stone.
Everyman wears a badge.
Comically bad. I've lasted 20 minutes so far. For some reason I feel compelled to the rest of it drunk. Numb the anticipated pain.
It's like an even shittier version of The Untouchables. Half-baked script, repetitive and terrible shoot outs and tacky, sentimental bullshit that would and should never happen.
Hmmmm... I don't know why I started my "Films I haven't seen and should see at some point" list with this but I did, and that happened and that was that...
Gangster Squad is Reuben Fleischer's third feature film. I only mention this because Zombieland was his debut, and it was also the first film that I reviewed on this very page (or when it was hosted on Wordpress, but whatever). Whilst Zombieland was very well received, his second film, 30 Minutes Or Less was not. Can Fleischer recapture the magic of Zombieland with Gangster Squad?
Gangster Squad is loosely based on the true story of John "Jack" O'Hara (played here by Josh Brolin) and a group of off-the-books police officers who take on the mammoth task of dismantling Los Angeles kingpin Mickey Cohen's (Sean Penn) criminal empire. I say "loosely based" on a true story because as recently as two…