Brief Belated Review: Gangster Squad
Silly, over the top, comic book style violence so ridiculous it’s almost slapstick and shootouts that freeze like a panel on a page, Gangster Squad is certainly not The Godfather, or anything like the other fine examples of crime pictures America has often turned out. But crucially, nor is it trying to be.
Sean Penn looks like he’s having the most fun, stealing every scene with great relish as real life crime boss Mickey Cohen. Emma Stone, in the gangster’s moll role, as always is a delight. Her alluring beauty is like one of the screen goddesses from the films era. Sadly, Ryan Gosling, after such a good run, seems to just be going through the motions. He isn’t bad as the enigmatic St Jerry Wooters, one of the titular squad formed to bring down Cohen, just not as broodingly intimidating as in Drive or a charming as in Crazy Stupid Love, despite having enough material to play with. The rest of the squad add some fun, Robert Patrick and Michael Pena make a good double team, bringing a few laughs to keep in with the camp, comic book tone of the rest of the film.
The story doesn’t have anything approaching an original idea, but the talented cast and the very loud crash bang nature of the film ensures there is enough to keep you entertained throughout. The final ‘mano e mano’ scene does feel like it’s borrowed from another film, and a poorly shot film to boot. Plus the voice over that bookends the film is as unpleasant as it is unwelcome. Gangster Squad is fun enough Friday night fare, but no more than that.
Down With Film Rating 3/5