HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
   
 
Newest Articles
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
   
 
  Gangster Squad Come In Peace, Shoot To Kill
Year: 2013
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick, Giovanni Ribisi, Troy Garity, Holt McCallany, James Landry Hébert, Mireille Enos, Evan Jones, Jeff Wolfe, Jon Polito, Ambyr Childers, Josh Pence
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Los Angeles in 1949 and the criminal underworld is cowering before the Jewish ex-boxer Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) who decided once he gave up the pugilism that he wanted to own the city, and saw off every threat the Mafia based in Chicago presented to him. Now even certain lawmen were in his pocket, and one high-ranking cop Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) knew he had to act, but how? By authorising a force of policemen who were able to work outside the law to beat Cohen's men at their own game - don't kill the criminal, just have The Gangster Squad ruin his power for good.

If there's one movie Gangster Squad owed a substantial debt to it was Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, that eighties hit turned cult classic which took a traditional look at the crime genre of the Hollywood Golden Age and injected a fresh perspective, mostly by amping up the violence. But if there was another movie it owed a debt to, it was L.A. Confidential, for there were many times when this came across like a De Palma movie infused with the sensibility of author James Ellroy. Except that director had already tried to adapt that writer, and the results had been the mega-flop The Black Dahlia, which did not bode well here.

That said, Gangster Squad was at least a bit better than that fiasco, but being set in 1949 you might have expected them to take their cue from a classic of that era such as White Heat - seeing Penn channelling James Cagney's performance in that would have been something to eagerly anticipate. However, what it seemed like instead was a vintage B-movie pumped up on steroids, artificially enhanced to stimulate a jaded twenty-first century palate, not without its worth but not a satisfying prospect either, no matter that director Ruben Fleischer had ensured it was easier to follow when there was a star in every major role.

Or at least a recognisable performer which made it easier to distinguish who was who, much as L.A. Confidential had done, so the leader of the squad, Sergeant O'Mara, was Josh Brolin looking as if he was chewing wasps throughout, his second in command Sergeant Wooters was heartthrob of the moment turned would-be serious artist Ryan Gosling, and the leading lady Grace Faraday, both moll of Cohen and having an affair with Wooters, was Emma Stone, taking something of a backward step in a part that was largely decorative even if she did suit the forties fashions to a tee. There were other "hey it's that guy" actors here, but familiarity was the main reason they were cast, or so it appeared.

Because they didn't get very much of note to do otherwise, with only two types of scene throughout: either there would be an earnest conversation about the pressing state of the operation, or the screen would explode in a hail of bullets as stuntmen flung themselves around, way over the top but at least not as ho-hum as the dialogue. A sop to morality was in exactly one scene where it was pondered whether the good guys behaving like bad guys was precisely the correct method to deal with the criminals, but of course that was dismissed - it's the only language they understand, so what you had was a team of Dirty Harries in period dress gunning down anyone who got in their way. This could be fair enough as the project was obviously shying away from the facts to concoct a brash fiction in the mould of the pulp fiction of yesteryear, and the look of the film with its sleek finish was undoubtedly gleaming, it's just that it would have been nice to find some grit under the gloss, never mind how many people fell victim to the Tommy guns. Music by Steve Jablonsky.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1885 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
  Lee Fiveash
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: