Gangster Squad focuses on a 1949 Chicago mobster/boxer named Mickey Cohen and the group of police officer vigilantes who are determined to end his evil regime in Los Angeles. The film had some setbacks prior to being released. Reshoots and editing did not improve the film however. It can keep you entertained, but will not leave you with that, "What a great movie!" feeling. The script has issues and the acting was just decent. Although there are some really cool moments, they are long gone and forgotten when the film reaches its conclusion.
The film was originally intended for a September 2012 release date, but was postponed until January 2013 by Warner Brothers studios so they could reshoot scenes in the film. This was due to the violent nature of a scene in which characters came out from behind a movie theatre screen and began shooting, a scene which debuted in a trailer shown before The Dark Knight Rises in July. Warner Brothers decided to cut the scene from their movie altogether and replace it with new scenes, even though the movie was in post-production.
One of the biggest problems with the film is its mediocre script. Although it comes off as a serious attempt at a mobster film, fans of the film have argued that it is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek nod to old films of that era. It is hard to believe the latter, as there is little comedy in the film and when there is it is simple one-liners. Just because this director also made Zombieland does not mean that all the films he does are playful parody versions of different genres. Also, the script seems to have some things that were overlooked. In the beginning of the film we see Anthony Mackie in the segregated part of town. When Josh Brolin speaks to him, it is clear Brolin's character is out of place due to the color of his skin. There is even a comment made by Mackie that he is the only one allowed down here. However, Mackie is then recruited to come to the high-end part of town and nothing is mentioned by anyone who sees him. It is almost impossible to believe that no one in 1949 would comment on the color of his skin when they saw him among all the high-class white people in Los Angeles.
The movie is not all bad. There are pieces here and there that make you appreciate that you spent money to see this film. Near the end of the film there is an action-sequence that we get to see in slow-motion that was very cool cinematographically. Some of the direction during the gorier parts of the film is handled well also.
Gangster Squad is a mediocre gangster film. If you are a big fan of one of the actors, it may be worth seeing them duke it out on the big screen. If not, it might be best to wait to watch this one when it comes out on DVD.