Verdict: 2 / 5
Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) is fighting a losing battle against crime and corruption, with no one willing to help. When the opportunity arises to take down Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), the biggest mafia boss in L.A., he doesn’t hesitate. O’Mara recruits officers, all with special talents, that will aid in Cohen’s downfall. O’Mara struggles to recruit Wooters (Ryan Gosling), but after a gun battle he decides to join the makeshift group of misfits. After the Group (or the Gangster Squad) take down one of Cohen’s gambling houses, the Mafia boss realises his being targeted.
Gangster Squad is pretty self-explanatory; no confusion here. This movie is as violent as they come, and you can almost feel the spray of blood splatter in your seat. Although this movie is deliciously violent, the plot is lacking and has many holes in the story. The story line didn’t have a natural progression and felt very forced at times. I’m not quite sure in which direction Reuben Fleisher was going with this movie; was it serious or funny? One can only assume the ensemble cast dented this movie because you don’t know where to focus your attention.
Special mention, though, to Sean Penn – his portrayal of a Psychotic Megalomaniac was genius. Anthony Mackey’s performance also deserves a mention, although his character doesn’t have a large role. Emma Stone was forgettable and Ryan Gosling’s accent annoyed me. I was expecting this to be the gangster movie of the decade, but was too hit and miss for me.
Gangster squad is attempting to be something else, but just didn’t quite get there. This movie was supposedly based on a true story; if so, why would it be so hard to retell? It was just too hard to fully get entrenched in this movie. Hopefully Fleisher’s next movie will entertain a bit more.