Gangster Squad - January 11

Review By Jesus Figueroa

The city of L.A. gets taken over by a mobster of high caliber in “Gangster Squad” when Mickey Cohen decides its his destiny to own it.

Cohen played brilliantly by Sean Penn has an aura of being untouchable. It is just frightening the confidence and prestige that he tries to personify in this cruel sadistic mob boss. Standing right by his side is a glamorous dame Grace Faraday played by the beautiful Emma Stone. Caught between two worlds with Cohen as her public boyfriend and LAPD Sergeant Jerry Wooters played by Ryan Gosling as her man on the side. The main hero of the film is LAPD Sergeant John O’Mara played by Josh Brolin who matches intensity with Cohen. Providing the honorable and reasonable courage for facing the biggest threat to a safe and normal life in the City of Angels.

The cast is amazing although much of the comedy is cheesy and predictable. It is unnecessary the manner in which the film tries to add humor and the timing of the humor was way off. The action was well paced though. It began with a brutal opening scene and continued with brief story intervals all through out. Corruption was the biggest problem and the story exploited it every step of the way. At points the mob seemed unstoppable from the level of corruption. The complexity of the story was riveting and yet lacking in emotion. Faraday and Wooters had very little actual interaction. The love story could have been stretched some more to give it a feel of not being so rushed. Not to mention Emma Stone could have had more screen time in her gorgeous attire. Faraday also lacked a real explanation or background story. She almost did not stand out from any other female character in the film. The American hero story for O’Mara felt heartfelt and true. It had an honest appeal to it that made him a sympathetic and likable character that everyone wanted to succeed. The rest of the Gangster Squad combined well for a background ensemble to this based on true life story. Each member brought their own charisma to each character and all together made for an incredibly team to be dealt with. The final confrontation was brute force upon brute force leading to a fitting end. The only thing the ending lacked was a sense of realism to it. It was so much fighting in such a concise timing.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 popcorn. It’s definitely a good movie but the character voices from all except Penn kept bugging me. Minor details that keep a few movies from getting a higher rating.