Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad – 113min – R

This movie feels like it was made directly from a true crime magazine. Fans of the game L.A. Noir will enjoy the film because of their overwhelming attention to detail to the time period. The performers fit into the character types and everyone performed well. However the only reason for this film is to have over an hour of rough and tough gunshots and explosions. The mighty hero fights for what is right even if he breaks the rules.

The original release date was changed because its opening weekend was schedule after the Aurora movie theater shooting. The gun violence is your typical Hollywood action fair. It was the scene with a machine gun massacre taking place in a movie theater that had to be removed from the film. This movie is nothing more than a red light film. Well acted but nothing really there. If you are interested in this time period, play L.A. Noir. You will get more out of it.

Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is the big cheese in the Los Angeles crime syndicate. He rules the town with a hard cold demeanor. Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) is a hard boiled ex-marine who takes his role as police officer seriously but treats it like he was on the battlefield. The Chief (Nick Nolte) likes the brutality of Sgt. O’Mara and recruits him on a covert mission to hit the gangsters hard and off the books. O’Mara’s wife, Connie (Mireille Enos) *obviously the brains of the outfit*, hand picks the men her husband is to recruit. The guerrilla-war dream team consists of:

Officer Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie) the only black officer who stands alone in his fight against heroin in the slums.

Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) the good looking ex-marine who has a heart of gold but a spine of ice.

Officer Max Kennard (Robert Patrick) the fast shooting, deadly accurate, six gun wearing officer and his Mexican sidekick/disciple Officer Navidad Ramirez(Michael Peña) .

Officer Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi) is the smart tactician and moral compass of the group.

They fight a lot and beat up the bad guy but they lose a few people along the way. Oh and no one gets any recognition for the work they did. But at least O’Mara gets fired for his troubles.

Emma Stone plays Grace Faraday, a moll and police informant. I thought this role was beneath her. Anyone with a pretty face could have done this job because anyone can be set dressing. Although she and Gosling do look good together and they have on-screen chemistry.

Ruben Fleischer made Zombieland a surprisingly great film so my expectations for him are kind of high. I do have to give him credit for re-editing the film to accommodate the sensitivity of the times. It was the right thing to do.

I fear this movie is going to be used in the gun control debate. If it’s used as debate ammunition it should have been a better film. The pro gun people are going to point to this and say it is the reason that there is violence in our society. Even though at the heart of this story are good guys with guns taking down bad guys with guns. The anti gun side of the argument might fall into that same category saying if we did not see violence then we would not have more of it in real life.

There is no quick and easy fix for this problem. Is there a problem? Obviously. Can we just take away all of the pictures of guns and the guns themselves to make everything better? No. Our solution is going to take a lot of work from everyone to set their own personal biases aside and really look at the solutions to the problems. I am just a movie blogger but it seems that everyone is blamestorming instead of finding real solutions. Ok stepping of my soap box now.

Warning Spoilers!!!! Only Officers not on the take allowed beyond this point!!!!!!

I have none, I have tried to think of something that goes into the spoiler section but there’s really is nothing to this movie that makes me want to talk about it anymore than I have to. It was not a horrible film it was really just a nothing film.

Sorry for getting your hopes up and not actually having anything in this section.

I am going to start working on Film Fix Fridays, what movie do you want me to take a look at to see if I can fix what is wrong with it. Yes, I know, I am arm chair quarterbacking but hey, that kind of thing can be fun.

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Good review. The dialogue and acting are over-the-top (Sean Penn in particular) in a very fun way. This is no lasting classic, but it is a good time.