In 1939, the battle for Los Angles begins to turn for the worse, the Mafia heads are fighting for the rights to the west and the police become more corrupt. Then things get so bad for the common citizen that a few of the non-corrupted police try and stop these gangsters from taking over their beloved city.
During the late 1930, and early 40’s the Mafia took control of Los Angeles and organized crime was everywhere. Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) wanted to be in total control so he planned to stop the Mafia heads in the east from getting any profits from the west. The police were under Mickey’s control and all the drugs and profits were his. But what he didn’t know was what Police Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) was planning.
Hired by Chief Parker to bring down Mickey Cohen, Sargent John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) must put together an elite team of members to infiltrate and drive them out. With the help from his wife Connie O'Mara (Mireille Enos) he begins to piece together a team of men that he can trust to carry out whatever they need to do to save this town.
First he recruits Officer Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), who is referred to as the sheriff of Central Avenue and is determined to run drug runners and violence out of his part of town. Then Officer Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), a police cowboy famous for his spectacular gun tricks exploited from a true detective magazine series, and Officer Navidad Ramirez (Michael Peña), of Mexican descent and a close partner of Max’s that shows his dedication to the team by being the first to volunteer for the group. Later adding Officer Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), currently part of the local force and is a genius with technology and spy intelligence becomes very helpful to the team for finding important information about the criminals they track. Finally joining the squad, Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) is O’Mara’s partner on the force and close friend.
Including help from some unexpected sources, Grace Faraday (Emma Stone), girlfriend of Mickey’s and Jack Whalen, (Sullivan Stapleton), a local loan shark and personal friend of Jerry’s, the group of lawmen are faced with a tough climb that might destroy their careers and lives as they know it. But can this elite team do what is necessary to save this town from the destruction set forth by the mobsters?
The director Reuben Fleischer performs an excellent job bringing this time-period to life. The back drop scenery and imagery used to recreate this period was well done and helped bring the storyline along. From the 1939 Los Angles skyline, to the rustic look of Burbank, it gave me the sense of what things were like at that time.
It was an action packed film that does an excellent portrayal of the crime scene during the late 1930’s. The violence used was very extreme. It included a lot of blood and guts and much imagery, but well worth it. Along with the intense scenes there are some hilarious ones as well. The comedy relief from many one-liners kept the film enjoyable and helped move things along to its final climax.
Final Grade: I give this a B for its great storyline, realistic violence, and great special effects, but did include some intense imagery that might keep some away.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Runtime: 113 minutes (1 hour and 53 minutes)
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language.
Genre: Action, Crime, and Drama
Production Company: Warner Brothers Pictures, and Village Road Show Pictures.
Release Date: January 11th, 2013