It’s easy to compare new movies coming out to older movies of the same genre. For instance every “dark” superhero movie will be referred to “The Dark Knight”. Just like every mob or mafia movie will be referred to as the new “Godfather”. I can count on one hand the number of movies that actually live up to the last sentence and “Gangster Squad” isn’t one of them.
“Gangster Squad” takes place some years after World War II in Los Angeles. Gangster Mickey Cohen has made Los Angeles a breeding ground for corruption. He controls the police, bars, brothels and is working on controlling all the money on the East coast. The Chief of Police asks Sergeant O’Mara to wage war against Cohen and his crew to reclaim Los Angeles. All of O’Mara’s busts on Cohen though will not be on the books or on record with the police because what they are doing is not legal. With the help of his wife, O’Mara finds a group of cops who are willing to do what’s necessary to take down Cohen.
With Josh Brolin, Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling, you would think that this movie might be worth watching but you’d be wrong. It felt that the director wanted to deal more with the story of Mickey Cohen and John O’Mara than just letting the actors act. Thanks to the cops taking action into their own hands and pulling a “Code Red” if you will, we probably will never know what truly happened.
The supporting cast was good but like the lead actors they were just going through the motions as well. Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie and Giovanni Ribisi were just there to add big names to draw in the crowd. It felt like they were there because they owed someone a favor and didn’t really want to be there at all. That’s the best way I can describe how they all acted. No standout performances or breakthrough roles.
Your best bet is to find something else to watch this weekend. I haven’t seen “Zero Dark Thirty” yet because it finally just got released here in town. You might get the list of Oscar Nominees from my friend Tim English site here and go see one of those movies and not waste your money on this.