Tuesday, January 29, 2013






Josh Brolin

Ryan Gosling 

Sean Penn

Gangster Squad, seems to be one of those movies that historically happened but turned into Action Movies type. It can go through for better or for worse or maybe it could be in the middle of it, did it follow the road those kind of movie went through? Let's dive in to Gangster Squad.

Gangster Squad - In 1949,The Chief of the LAPD, Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) enlists Sgt. John O' Mara (Josh Brolin) to create a secret squad of underground cops to take down the biggest mob boss of Los Angeles Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) as he rise from power over the city of angels.

I was very excited to see Gangster Squad, from the start I thought it has a pretty good (scratch that: great) ensemble cast. But the excitement pretty much got into halt when they had to delay the release date 4 months later because they had to cut out one scene that happens to be a Theater Shooting so that it will not offend those people in the "Aurora Theater Shooting Tragedy". Getting that out of the way, was the wait worth it? Yeah, My expectations but exceed and eluded at the same time. But in fairness I did enjoy the movie.

The reason why I said that my expectations were eluded because of the fact that there were things that I don't expect where it would go on different directions. The movie looked like it will be that popcorn action type movie but then it takes to different roads, it didn't know what it wants to be. The movie tries to be a drama, at some point it's this over-the-top action flick and forcibly try to put some humanity to the characters in a bad way. To go into detail with three of the statements, The movie was  a well put together in the first half but the second half was a mess. The movie tried it's best to develop these characters with some sort of humanity, which I don't mind sometimes as long as it is relevant to the storytelling but here at some point it was told well but at some point wasn't and it felt forced, and it mostly revolve around Giovanni Ribisi's part. Sometimes the drama will be off-ly developed as the movie progresses, when people got killed off there wasn't really much depth to give a shit about that one character who died. Also Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling's romance I didn't buy but I did buy Brolin's relationship with his wife more (despite the fact on how cliche it is). The tones got mixed in with actual history and over-the-top really poorly. Those were a few things that bothered me about this movie.

But were there any good things to pick up from this movie? actually, yes. Despite my complaints I was still able to enjoy the film. It was definitely a good popcorn flick. Every action scene is entertaining even if it does discount the fact that this is somewhat a real life story, there were a lot of action scenes that really stuck out to me as I got out of the theater. What I also like is how well written some characters are, especially the gangster squad itself as they have this good enough on-screen camaraderie. The writing for this movie was both clever and sometimes flat, When I first saw Sean Penn in the trailer doing his "menacing" monologue (making all the  "boom", "bam" sounds in that monologue) It took me away a little bit when I was watching the trailer, here you got some lines like that both worked and fell flat. The performances I thought was very good in this movie, despite the fact that some characters weren't really developed very well. Not to go into detail with this huge cast, Josh Brolin continues to impress me with this new young Tommy Lee Jones image, Ryan Gosling was also great there were a few scenes coming from him that is memorable and he was also great in this movie (he had that Drive vibe, I think that's his new image now). Sean Penn, earlier I did say about my first impression about Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen was not very good, It looks to be that he'd be a little too over the top but when I watched the film I thought that he wasn't bad, his over the top performance worked out pretty well pulling as he shapes up to be this badass and threatening villain in the movie. Emma Stone, was barely developed and ends up having a rushed romance with Ryan Gosling (that I really couldn't buy). The Gangster Squad themselves, Anthony Mackie and Michael Peña, Giovanni Ribisi and Robert Patrick were good as well and some of them did deliver an entertaining enough performance. 

In the end, Gangster Squad was not that bad and not that good, But in all fairness it was a very entertaining movie as it captures both the dark and glamorous side of Los Angeles in the late 40s and director Ruben Fleischer and the cast were able to deliver an entertaining action movie. It still has flaws in the writing and pacing department because of the second half (which was pretty messy) they could've worked it all out. Going back to that theater scene I thought they disguised that scene very well, I couldn't really pick point which scene it was going to come in. In this movie, I liked it for those small good bits. I would recommend you see this movie If you want to see a very good popcorn flick, but it's not necessarily something It's not necessarily something to get out of your way to watch, It could be a good rental i suppose.





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