Sunday, September 29, 2013

Movie Review: "Gangster Squad" (2013)

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Movie: "Gangster Squad"
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is the head of all organized crime in Los Angeles and has much of the LAPD and numerous politicians in his pocket. In a final attempts to try and rid the city of Mickey Cohen, police chief Parker (Nick Nolte) entrusts Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to create a gangster squad, a group of cops who will do whatever it takes to rid Los Angeles of Cohen for good. Their tactics are not those of typical cops, but rather, the gangster squad implores the use of weapons, bugs, bombs, and other various crimes to throw a wrench in Cohen's operation.

Another disappointing gangster movie with an all-star cast. I really don't know how it has such a high review on IMDB...perhaps all the Ryan Gosling fangirls simply rate all his movies 10/10.

This movie tries its hardest to be a modern day "The Untouchables" and falls flat on its face. Here's a breakdown of each movie and the roles they match up with from "The Untouchables":

Josh Brolin = Kevin Costner
Ryan Gosling = Andy Garcia
Robert Patrick (WHO RUINED THE X-FILES) = Sean Connery
Giovanni Ribisi = Charles Martin Smith
Sean Penn = Roberto De Niro

Something about this movie doesn't work. For a film that has real-life people as its central characters, this movie lacks realism. It seems phony and cartoonish as opposed to something that actually took place as real life events.

As much as I love Ryan Gosling, I just don't think he worked in this film. I think his acting style is distracting and not cohesive for what it was trying to accomplish. We know Gosling can be serious, and we know he can play 'funny,' but for some reason, he doesn't fit. Josh Brolin is fine, but he's no Elliot Ness. Robert Patrick continues to ruin everything he touches (BigJ says except for "Terminator 2 and I say #BITTER). The cast was supposed to be this tight group of corruption killers, but they just didn't mesh well together. There were plenty of points where this movie was not cohesive.

There are a plethora of other gangster movies that exist that are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than this one, whether they focus on the criminals or the police. "Gangster Squad" is slow moving, sometimes boring, and the former boxer/mob enforcer/LA crime kingpin could be a much more interesting character than what Sean Penn was able to deliver.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 32%
Do we recommend this movie: I say no, BigJ says meh.

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