Alrighty then, Gangster Squad, my first proper 2013 film that I’ve seen in the cinema. I had hoped that this film would be worth my time and not just another one of those hyped up thriller films that actually suck. Luckily this film was pretty good, but I have indeed seen better before.
So the story takes place during the 1940s and ’50s in Los Angeles where gangster, Mickey Cohen owns the streets of the city with his ruthless gang members. However Sergeant John O’Mara along with some other LAPD officers and detectives form a group called the “Gangster Squad unit” who attempt to take back LA from Mickey Cohen and make the streets safe once more. I think the story for this film had a lot of potential because of its subject matter and the fact that it actually happened in real life, however I feel like the story never really reached that peak point. Also I never really found myself emotionally invested in the film at all which kind of sucked for me because most thrillers can engage me pretty well. The writing in this film was a little weak and predictable with me being able to actually guess what certain characters were going to say before they said it.
While the story didn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped, the characters of Gangster Squad were a lot better. Josh Brolin as Sergeant John O’Mara was cool. I liked his no-nonsense approach to things and how he was determined to get his work done, though I found it funny how much I kept comparing him to Tommy Lee Jones throughout the film. Ryan Gosling as Sergeant Jerry Wooters was nice character and I liked his easy-going style. I think that the trailers lead me to believe that he was going to be the leader of the squad more so than O’Mara, but anyway he was good in the film though I wish his character had been fleshed out a bit more. Emma Stone as Grace Faraday was nice though severely underused. Stone looked immaculate in all of beautiful dresses and while her character has relevance to the story Grace is simply there just to get with Jerry and potentially get in trouble Cohen.
Also Nick Nolte as Chief Bill Parker was good too though I had hoped to see more of him really. Easily the best character was Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen. Mickey is a ruthless sadist who will grow his empire at any cost. Another mention goes out to Anthony Mackie as Detective Coleman Harris. I was paying extra attention to him due to the fact that he’ll be The Falcon in Captain America 2, so I wanted to see what skills he had and I thought he was pretty cool and liked the scenes he was in; he was an efficient and essential member of the group. Overall besides Sean Penn being the best character in the film, I also liked the “Gangster Squad” as a whole all of them seemed to gel well together and when they’re acting as a unit creating chaos in the streets and being people up I liked it a lot.
The presentation of the film was alright both in the visual and audio department. The look of the film was nice and some of the camera shots were cool and the soundtrack by Steve Jablonsky is also good but nothing overly memorable.
So in conclusion Gangster Squad is good film, I liked the story but I wasn’t overly invested in it. I was hoping for something a little more in line with Boardwalk Empire or maybe even some like Lawless. I mainly liked this film for the characters involved and the good action scenes. I would still recommend Gangster Squad though, it is a good watch and I was entertained for the most part.
Well there’s my review people, what did you think of the film? Drop me a comment and let me know! Until the next time, later on. 🙂