Run time: 113 mins, Cert 15
Gangster Squad is the story of how a groups of cops took down Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), through any means necessary, and I rather liked it.
This film has been getting some really bad reviews, mostly from people claiming it’s “no LA Confidential”, and this is very true, but the thing about it is that.. It isn’t meant to be La Confidential, it’s meant to be essentially a big budget B movie, and that’s exactly what it is.
The movie stars Josh Brolin as Sgt. John o’mara, an ex soldier who became a police officer when world war two ended, he’s a good, honest cop who struggles with, the fact that the war is over, so, although he may deny it he goes looking for fights, he was born to play a part like this and he does very well.
The film has a good cast, most of them give good performances, Sean Penn is fun as ex- boxer turned gangster Mickey Cohen, it’s probably the loudest performance you will see in a film that’s out at the moment, a personal highlight for me, was that someone goes to box him and he says “sorry my boxing days are over” and shoots him, another fun moment was when he’s eating some surf and turf, he looks up and says “I like eating with one fork, it means you don’t make any bad decisions”, I have no idea what it means but he delivered it very well.
If there is one thing that doesn’t work it’s Ryan Gosling and Emma Stones’ relationship, they seem less like a hot sexy couple, and more like two people who have been married a long time, it was like a vacuum of chemistry between them, it was rather distracting.
This is a rather violent film, in the first two scenes a man is pulled in half by a car and a man gets his fingers sliced off by a lift, if I was thirteen and had snuck in with a couple of mates, this would be the best gangster film ever made, as it stands though it’s just a fun trashy film with some questionable ethics, and I don’t think I could ever truly dislike a film that has the barefaced audacity to cast Michael Peña as “Navidad Ramirez” (translated that’s Christmas Ramirez).
Rating 3.5/ 5: the perfect counterpoint to the large amount of very heavy films out at the moment, as long as you go into it expecting a fun action film you should have a good time.