Performances ranked: 3, 5, 2, 1, 4, 7, 8, 6, 9
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?…
Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad is a pulpy gangster movie about a secret police unit who attempt to clean up the streets of 1940s Los Angeles as they wage war against mob boss, Mickey Cohen. If the plot sounds vaguely familiar it is because it bears a striking resemblance to The Untouchables, however this newer effort makes Brian De Palma’s film look positively restrained in comparison.
Although this is inspired by a true story the film doesn’t concern itself with facts or delivering an intelligent story with credible characters. Instead this is a glitzy yet superficial action film that wallows in its glamorous Hollywood setting and vulgar use of violence. Whilst it aims for a comic book tone where the heroes…
Los Angeles, 1950s: Mickey Cohen rules the world. Drugs, guns, women—you name it, he's got it. A group of police officers band together to root out the corruption which threatens to take over the city when the void of his jail sentence creates a power vacuum—
Cut! Mickey Cohen doesn't go to jail in this picture. What're you reading there? That's the synopsis for L.A. Confidential! You're reading for the wrong movie!
Oh, wow, sorry about that. Let me try again:
When an unlikely group of violent men join forces for a special job, everything goes smoothly until the cops show up and the boys suspect they've been betrayed. When one of their men gets shot, what was supposed to…
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…
Vibrant, silly, fun, and wonderfully cliche; Gangster Squad is a neo-noir loaded with tommy guns, wisecracks up the yin-yang, and a dame to kill for.
What else could you want? This is badass film-making at its most overblown and messy. I loved it.
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…
Little more than an Untouchables rip-off, this is another 'based on a true story' tale in which an honest cop tries to take down a top mobster with the help of a team of spirited underdogs (1920s Chicago swapped for LA in the 1940s). Sean Penn's one-note Mickey Cohen is as boring as villains come, and the actor struggles to make the kind of impact that De Niro made with his monstrous, over-the-top and hugely enjoyable turn as Al Capone (though Cohen does at least share Capone's love of inventing elaborate or unusual deaths for his enemies, drilling into a guy's head at one point and, during another scene, using two cars that are facing in opposite directions to pull…
If you take it for it is, it's actually pretty enjoyable. I'm a fan of settings like the ones in this movie, and although the movie does have its cliches, I didn't grow tired of it one second. It's not as great as it was thought to be, but I personally don't think that it was entirely disappointing. Just enjoy it for it is, and it shouldn't be too bad.
On paper, Gangster Squad had plenty of potential. The cast that had been assembled was fantastic, and the premise could have been the basis for a very solid crime film. Unfortunately, Gangster Squad squanders its potential at pretty much every turn.
The biggest issue that cripples Gangster Squad is that its script doesn't have anything interesting going on in terms of its characters. Despite the film being a full two hours, no one feels properly fleshed out, with everyone outside of protagonist John O'Mara being underdeveloped. The characters serve functions within the scenes, but the ways they interact feels empty, making it very difficult to care about anything that's going on. Relationships are declared rather than shown, and the eponymous…
Boring and vacuous. Makes Brian De Palma's The Untouchables seem thought-provoking and deep in comparison.
"Well ya gotta die of somethin!"
Overblown, funny, sometimes silly and a lot of guns! Total badass movie. I love it!
"Welcome to Hollywood, ma'am!"
La prova perfetta del fatto che non basta un cast della madonna per fare un bel film.
Inspirada en un libro hecho a partir de artículos que a su vez toman como partida la historia real de la unidad creada dentro de la polícía de Los Angeles para evitar que alguien tomara el lugar del capo Mickey Cohen, una vez fue enviado a Alcatraz por evasión de impuestos.
El guión se toma libertades y licencias poéticas bien amplias (en la película la unidad especial va precisamente tras Cohen) con el sólo objetivo, así lo percibí yo, del lucimiento de los actores y el director. Fleischer no busca ningún tipo de realismo, irónicamente aunque esta inspirada por hechos reales, ninguno de los personajes termina por ser suficientemente verosímil. En cambio tenemos una versión hiperrealista de una historia de…
This is an outstanding film. One of on the best gang movie of the year. Acting in this movie is excellent! Couldn't ask for good acting.
Performances ranked: 3, 5, 2, 1, 4, 7, 8, 6, 9
These are films that I've seen over the years that I've either liked or loved, but A LOT of people…