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Gangster Squad


Gangster Squad is a crime thrill-ride with an all-star cast. However despite all of its efforts it still echoes as an Untouchables Lite, an L.A Confidential without rules, and Scarface character traits. Whilst crime is my personal favourite type of genre this does stand as probably the best since 2009's Public Enemies, but not in the leagues with the best.

Starring; Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men), Ryan Gosling (Drive), Sean Penn (Mystic River), Emma Stone (Zombieland), Michael Pena (End Of Watch), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), Nick Nolte (Warrior) and Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker). The film is full of faces that are instantly recognisable, giving the film the push factor at the box-office.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, who is best known for directing Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less, he borrows the plot from The Untouchables in a way that just about pulls. Having cliches to parts from other movies we all know, the movie is destined to be compared to everything and anything in the crime genre. One possible example is the 'Here comes Santa Claus' quote said by Cohen as he pulls out a machine gun. Almost a reference or a mimic to Scarface's famous 'Say hello to my little friend' quote perhaps?

So the plot develops quite early in the film and is in summary a group of police officers put together to unlawfully bring down the L.A Gangster Mickey Cohen. The team consists of an over-dedicated cop, a guy who never misses, a knife guy, a tech guy, a Mexican newby and of course Gosling's character as the rather good looking guy. There I said it.. Gosling's character is one of the only ones who sells the teams narrative, adding the doubt into their plans, the questioning of their motives and with his charismatic appeal and humour adds to the films overall strengths.

The film is notably written by Will Beale, who does almost copy the plot to previous films. However in more recent news Beale has been hired for the write-up to the superhero assemble movie Justice League (2015), a huge movie in which he must prevale. Trying to almost make the film a unique satire it has all been converted into a 1940's graphic novel colour patte. This and the overuse of slow motion are all efforts to make it a cinematic gold, but does it work that well? for me it did.

Filled with scenes that build the tension it is at certain points unpredictable and anything could happen giving the surprise factor. Whilst still grasping onto the humour the film attempts to deliver in all areas; with one of the humour highlights subtly being 'You know the drill' as said to a henchmen. Then you see them kill some guy with a drill! it is a comic genius!.. (it's really not, but brings a smile.)

Set for an original release date of September 2012 the films release was delayed in respect to his Aurora shooting massacre during a The Dark Knight Rises screening. As seen in the films early trailers one of the scenes for the movie is a cinema shoot-out, again out of respect this was cut from the film and re-shot with a Chinatown setting.

Once again with crime being my favourite film genre this is not in the leagues of the big players such as L.A Confidential or The Untouchables but it is still a rewarding and entertaining ride to see.

Rating:  3 Star Rating


Gangster Squad arrives in UK cinemas on 10th January 2013.
You can watch the trailer by clicking here.

Review Written On:


Movie Released On:
10th January 2013


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