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Gangster Squad

A stellar cast, including two of the hottest young stars in Hollywood, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (Crazy Stupid Love) front the retro crime drama Gangster Squad.

Set in 1940s Los Angeles, where the city's police force are constrained from going after California's most notorious gangster, Mickey Cohen. Due to a widely corrupt police force, Cohen and his gang due rule the City of Angels, but the new LAPD chief William Parker (Nick Nolte) has a plan. He recruits a special squad headed by war hero Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin), who in turn brings together a motley crew to take on Cohen. Womaniser Sgt Jerry Wooters (Gosling), knife weilding Central Avenue cop Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie); 'hop-a-log' cowboy Max Kennard (Robert Patrick) with his side-kick; Latino tag-along Navidad Ramirez (Michael Pena), and lastly the tech genius Conwell Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi) complete this special LAPD task force, who allegedly brought Los Angeles back to it's people, and Cohen to his knees.

Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer has created cartoonish feel to this film that is made up of caricatures rather completely believable and gritty story/performances. I suppose due the cast, I was expecting something else - something that we are used to seeing from Gosling and Penn, who we tend to see in raw and very real movies.

Sean Penn was disappointing - a little one dimensional and without any charm or charisma. He hits the psychotic notes well, but neglects to include any light or shade in his performance, arguably relying on prosthetics to put his character of Cohen across.

Emma Stone plays Gosling's sassy love interest Grace Faraday. She doesn't have a lot to do, but she as we saw in Crazy Stupid Love, the two work very well together. Gosling is fab (as always) - sensitive and manly all in one handsome package! It is being sold as Gosling's film, but really it is Josh Brolin's, and it is him that gives the stand out performance. He gives a truly honest characterisation of O'Mara, whose sub-storyline with his pregnant wife (Mireille Enos) is the most honest relationship in the film - Mireille Enos (The Killing US) also giving a heartfelt, emotional performance.

I found Gangster Squad to be entertaining, but I was underwhelmed. I was expecting a gritty gangster flick, but instead watched Dick Tracy with added gore. If you are expecting it to be amazing you will be sorely disappointed. I am rather.

Gangster Squad UK Poster
Cinema-Scoop.com Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)
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UK Release Date: 
Thursday, January 10, 2013
USA Release Date: 
Monday, January 14, 2013