It is 1949 Los Angeles and gangster Mickey
Cohen (Sean Penn) is looking to take over LA, but Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) orders Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin)
to put together a secret squad to bust up Cohen’s operations without any arrests.
The Gangster Squad includes womanizer Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling who ahs been in better movies), an old time gun slinger,
a black man, a former military intelligence officer and the gun slinger’s rookie partner. Wooters gets involved with Cohen’s girl, Grace Faraday (Emma Stone who has also been in better movies
than this) while the squad aimlessly try dumb plan after plan to bust up Cohen’s crime operations and barely make it
GANGSTER SQUAD is a stylish and yet
very dumb action movie inspired by the real Gangster Squad and I can tell you the real story would have been a better movie
(or even TV series) that the mess we get here as characters do one stupid thing after another while the script puts several
clichés in service of the story to get to the next action sequence. They squeeze
the timeline to bust Cohen and they manage to go off how it really happened. Sean
Penn is great and over-the-top as Cohen compared to every other actor who phones in their performance. This is a movie with great production design and costume design in addition to a good action music score. I just wish GANGSTER SQUAD was actually closer to LA CONFIDENTIAL in story terms instead
of the script being a train wreck that deserves to be shot before it was even shot.
Save your money and don’t buy it. Rent it on a rainy day if you
have seen other better movies.
Audio commentary with Director Ruben Fleischer
which is pretty dry about the production of the film and he makes no mention of the scenes that was cut from the film which
delayed the movie’s release when I was skimming the track.
THE GANGLAND FILES is a picture within
picture content you can play with the movie that includes trivia, photos, interviews, and branching out points to the Focus
15 Focus Points featurettes which make up a very good making-of documentary when played as one piece as it covers all
aspects of the production.
THE REAL STORY, JOSH BROLIN ON O’MARA,
ONE LONG CONTINUOUS SHOT, FASHION OF THE ‘40s, RYAN & EMMA REUNITED. EMMA STONE OF GRACE, THE REAL MICKEY COHEN,
RYAN GOSLING ON TOOTERS, THE REAL GANGSTER SQUAD, THE REAL LOCATIONS, NOCK NOLTE ON CHIEF PARKER, INSIDE SLAPSY MAXIE’S,
BRINGING BACK GANGSTERS, PARK PLAZA
THEN AND NOW LOCATIONS- facts about the
locations then compared to now
ROUGH GUYS WITH STYLE- about the look of
ROGUES GALLERY: MICKEY COHEN- 46 minute
Seven deleted scenes with an introduction
by the director. The deleted scene with the shoot out in the movie theater
isn’t included or the goofy singing scene at a bar mentioned in the audio commentary.
I wish they included the deleted scene that caused the movie to have reshoots (the scene took place in a movie theater
as gangsters shoot through a movie screen) and be delayed from release instead of continuing to being over sensitive to the
movie theater shooting tragedy that happened during a screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
The theatrical trailers are missing including
the trailer that has the cut theater shoot out scene.
FINAL ANALYSIS: THE GANGSTER SQUAD ends up being just a stylish action film with nothing in-between to give it real weight. The actors are good, and the production
design and costume design are top notch. It sounds like the real story that inspired
the movie would have made a better film than this mess. A wonderful wealth
of extras is included on this disc.
This review is (c)4-28-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.
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