"This isn't Chicago". yells Sean Penn."it's the Wild West!"
The first five minutes of Gangster Squad more than proves this, as a luckless thug chained between two vehicles is torn in half then fed to the dogs. Another gets his fingers sliced off in an elevator fight. And a room full of goons get punched, stabbed, beaten and shot.
This is just what we want from a Gangster movie.After this breathless opening. Ruben Fleischer's 1949 set cops vs crims tale never hardly puts a foot wrong it's fast slick very witty and blasts out the decibels in the gun battle. A prosthetics padded Penn barely stops screaming, making his shouty turn in Mystic River a silent movie by comparison but he makes a great Mickey Cohen nasty and funny in equel measure. Couple that with slugs, explosions and jazz, and this could be an early contender for loudest film of 2013. Littering the landscape with more corpses than Fleischer's 2009 zomcom Zombieland. Gangster Squad centres on "the war for the soul of Los Angeles", as gruff Nick Nolte's Chief of Police calls it. In one corner is Josh Brolin's "honest cop" John O'Mara who, when not tending to his pregnant wife at home, is rescuing damsels in distress at work. In the opposite corner is Penn's real life mobster Mickey Cohen heroin dealer, racketeer and all round bad egg. In a bid to bring him down, O'Mara assembles his squad, from Anthony Mackie's switchblade wielding Harlem cop to Giovanni Ribisi's techhead (the brains to balance the brawn). Others on board include Robert Patrick's sharp shooting old timer, Michael Pena's rookie and, after initially showing reluctance, Ryan Gosling's slacker cop Sgt. Jerry Wooters, who just for added spice takes a shine to Cohen's moll Grace Faraday (Emma Stone). There's much to admire, from the classy cast, immaculate production and costume design to a script that stings with salty one liners that are priceless. But unfortunatly amid the bullet blizzards, it's at times hard to feel much for some of the lesser characters, It doesn't help that Stone and Gosling get less room to recapture the chemistry that fizzed so memorably in Crazy Stupid Love. But the grizzled Brolin really packs a punch in all senses. Typified by Penn's shouty performance, Gangster Squad is very slick, stylish and very enjoyable. Easy on the eye and although it plays fast and loose with the actuall facts and also needed to reshoot the ending as the original ending was supposed to be in bad taste due to the cinema shooting at The Dark Knight Rises U.S. Gangster Squad at heart is a great action pact Gangster movie.
See If You Like.....