The old school gangster film is few and far between these days. When the trailers hit for Gangster Squad it sported a great cast featuring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, and Robert Patrick along with what looked to be a great story. Then the tragic shooting at the theater postponed the film and forced some cuts of what was one of the coolest parts of the trailer. Could this have affected the film or will it still deliver what looked to be a great addition to this genre?
Gangster Squad follows a special unit police squad charged with bringing down LA gangster Mickey Cohen during the 1940’s and 50’s. The story is a fictionalized account of the downfall of Mickey Coehn, but works perfectly. This film delivers everything you need to bring this genre to life with a hail of bullets. Where a lot of these types of films focuses on the inner workings and a few action set pieces here and there, this one takes the action to a whole new level and never let’s up. Everyone does a great job with their respective characters bringing a sense of diversity to the overall story and bringing it to brilliant life. Everyone here seems to have great chemistry making everything work together great. The real scene stealer here is Sean Penn, who delivers a calm psychotic performance to bring this ruthless gangster to life. Every time he is on screen you can feel the power his character holds over everyone. While this is a serious film, they still managed to stick in some amusing moments here and there to help keep the mood light at times. The cool scene of the guys coming through the screen shooting that has sense been deleted was sure to be a high point, but believe it or not you won’t even miss it. Whatever they changed it with still managed to deliver an action packed film. Make no mistake this is based on real characters, but is a fictionalized account to create more of an action film and works on every level.
This is the Untouchables for a whole new generation, but with action and violence that makes that movie look like a family film. We just don’t get enough of this genre anymore, but thankfully now that we have it is a great movie that everyone is sure to enjoy. If you love films like the Untouchables and the cast involved then you will no doubt have a great time here as well.