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Movie Review: ‘Gangster Squad’

'Gangster Squad' Rated: R Time: 113 min. My Rating: 2/4 stars

Movie Review: ‘Gangster Squad’

My feelings toward “Gangster Squad” can be summed up in one word: disappointment.

In early previews, the film was marketed similarly to “The Untouchables” (1987) with a slight noir twist. Instead, the film teases audiences with stylish settings and plot while forgetting about what really matters in a ‘true story’ mob movie: realistic action.

In 1949 Los Angeles, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is taking over.

Police Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) assigns war veteran Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) to put a special team of cops together to take down the Chicago gangster.

Co-starring in this film are Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi, Mireille Enos, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, and Michael Peña.

One of the best parts of “Gangster Squad” is its style. Each character plays a role that contains class, mystery, and emotion. This, in turn, keeps the characters interesting enough to watch.

The backdrop of the film also deserves praise. The setting and people seen in the film all keep audiences interested through the acting and costume design.

However, even with stellar acting and costumes, “Gangster Squad” should not have been filmed in color.

Every successful noir film is in black and white, and any 1940s gangster movie requires this kind of darkness. It adds to the mystery, the drama, and the romance.

Without this key aspect, “Gangster Squad” looks too good to be true.

In addition to the film’s glossy overtone, “Gangster Squad” features horrid action sequences. All of these scenes include the stereotypical shoot-outs in which the good guys become impervious to bullets.

Since the film claims that it is based on real events, these ridiculous sequences are even more noticeable.

Logic is another missing part of “Gangster Squad.” A few scenes could have easily been eliminated if the main characters sat down and made a plan. Instead, every raid was a free for all firefight, ending with laughable results.

All in all, “Gangster Squad” claims to be a mob film based on true events, when it is actually just another run-of-the-mill action movie with an all-star cast and unique setting. I honestly hoped for more.
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