'Gangster Squad' Review By Zak Lee Ferguson
The Untouchables eat your heart out. A gem. Fun, slick, an awsome ride.
The story of Gangster Squad is of one I will pass on, why? Because those all engrossed in cinema should know its functions, whether this is me being lazy, its secondary in my views to what this film is to an up market audience and should be taken in hand as, but to give you a slight going- okay here we go...
Its about a troupe of Cops, Gun Slingers and part time men pulling together in the 1950's to pull off the downfall of Mickey Cohen ( Sean Penn) a mobster and power inebriated tight fisted soul who is out for LA's soul, crime rises, police operation is in his clutches. Our team is in need of pushing their head together to see his initial downfall, with Brolins top cop leading them, Ryan Golsings associate co-smoke quelling Detective and other various Detectives and associates find themselves hiding, pulling off the near impossible, emotions fly high but all the presumptions and needs are point blank samsy.
There...happy? Yes its Untouchables- esque, but where that has a stoic bored looking cast this has very modern day face punching lads rearing to go! Accepting the lines and script as it is, pure style, wit, and charisma, its stylish, slick, fast and what's most plausible, interesting.
The film is successful on the rate of its style, it is not style over substance, its raw, connective, and it shows the talents of one Ruben Fleischer F. who has helmed in previous years two poor comedies ( Zombieland / 30 Minutes or Less) and now shows his bite, having lusted over the importance of the Gangster film genre he also has brought a modernity and poise to it that makes it brandishing enough to still have those nostalgic pastiches but also accessible and thoroughly entertaining enough to pull through a successful approximation.
To pull this out of the hat with....the linear is a mimicry and all of Brian De. Palma's Untouchables is acceptable, except this film has a grandiose premise and assumption, it isn't all out for originality, its all out for shunning those all nostalgic lame assed back seated script drawn carriages and pulling the guns up front, and all the whilst still holding onto a connectivity, the female lead in the poise and form of Mireille Enos who doesn't play the wife whose pregnant who is all woeful, she's an encouraging strong women and shows the strength in our female leads. Brolin is strong and both brutish but charismatic Ryan Gosling is charming, straight forward, his hopefulness and theatricality in life simple, girls, guns, and living it easy, not jumping on board too soon until a slight hand of Cohen disturbs his rationality of life, the killing of a young lad trying to earn his keep, a story niche that proves the strength that this film has going for it. The film is not a stylistic feature that holds above its head the stable of substance, wherein the story has enough, with quite veneered out there performances by the always strong Sean Penn, stand out must I hasten to add here, but also it reels you in, from the openings to the magnificent score by Steve Jablonsky. The grey monotones and the gritty noir of it all, the set designs clothing's, costumes props, the tailoring, and the vehicles. Slick, bronzed, gleaming thanks to the photography of Dion Beebe (Equilibrium, Chicago and the marvelous Nine). Its all a bundled wrap of action, wit, style, vajazz. See it, hasten, and to border on the absurdities of comparison of crap like Board Walk Empire and co. is ludicrous, this is going head first into a whole new form of Gangster films and to bring up its past in script and Television and the likeness of other features is a blindness whereas there has not actually been an Original Gangster film to date, wherein this may steal a cliché or two but it's the most thrilling and cinematically original I have seen in a while.
This film not only proves that Ruben can handle a cast, but a narrative and all whilst keeping it at bay stylistically and contemporary, and given to all the forms and character arcs beautifully handled. Ruben is the one to look out for and on my books a rare gem, he has found his pastiche and its pushing the modern audience into enjoying usual artsy fartsy flush, which I adjourn as my favorable film, but this makes big Blockbusters weep at it having a fulfilled cast, look, premise and outcome. Justice league helmer for me I think.