Gangster Squad (2013)

Mickey Cohen: "These guys are a special brand. They're hard cases, not interested in money. A cop that's not for sale is like a dog with rabies. There's no medicine for it, you just gotta... put him down.
By Ruben Fleischer
With Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn

My main reason to watch Gangster Squad was the cast. It has a lot of talents and the story sounded fairly strong, the setting was very promising to me as well--Los Angeles 1949-- reminded me of James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential.

Los Angeles, 1949, the city is crawling under Mickey Cohen, a boxer turned gangster with a passion for violent displays of power and ready to buy every policeman he can. The story depicts only a few good cops, but those will unite in order to fight both the dirty cops and the mob all at one.

The cast is what drawn me to it and it didn't disappoint, Josh Brolin is perfect as a honorbound, by-the-book cop and Sean Penn, as usual, delivers the most he can with his character. This is where it lacks a little, the characters are beautiful, the late 40's dress code makes everyone looks pretty good, but there is little character development.

The couple Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (previously coupled in Crazy, Stupid, Love.(2011)) is beautiful, but yet again, we don't really get any hindsight about them. The actions scenes are plenty and if you enjoy gun fights, you should be thrilled, however, if you don't, you might quickly get bored as they are one of the main focuses of the movie. Some of the slow-motion scenes were over-the-top and unnecessary, in my opinion, because we've seen plenty of movies use them in the last decades and unless you bring something new, I don't see the point.

Overall, the Gangster Squad is fun, as a bunch of misfits get together and kick some ass kind of thing, not as a L.A. Confidential (1997) kind of investigation against rotten cops.

I liked: The settings, the era, the clothes, the restaurants, the cars, it all looks really nice. The cast. The photography looks quite good. Entertaining.

I disliked: It lacks characters development. We are faced with a bunch of characters meeting up to form a squad but they remain as a squad as we never get to know them in any depth. Too much gun blazing, too little realism.

I think the main goal of the movies is to look good and entertain and in those aspects, I think it succeeds. Unfortunately, that is where it stops, there is not much more and it doesn't seek to go much further either.


  1. I also watched Gangster Squad.... I liked the little de-glamorization of World War II... LOVED Ryan Ghosling.... loved his calm, cool, far-sighted approach and also loved the cop with a Native American protegee, over all, I was inspired... lets make the rating 75/100...
    great blog...