Sunday, June 23, 2013

Now at Netflix: Gangster Squad (2013)

Gangster Squad (2013) - Directed by Ruben Fleischer; Written by Will Beal; Starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone.

By Kenny Howell

When watching Gangster Squad, I kept thinking of when Anchorman's Brick Tamland, portrayed Steve Carell, yells out "LOUD NOISES!!" when everyone else is screaming at each other.

That is what Gangster Squad seems like at times. Instead of taking the cool true story about a group of law enforcements officers coming together to stop famed gangster Mickey Cohen, it turned into an over the top action movie with terrible lines like, "War path, he looks like he is on the give me more path."

What makes it worse is that Ryan Gosling says that line. He, as well as some of the other actors, are too talented to be mixed up in this run of the mill action-gangster movies. Not sure if that is what they signed up for, but that is what it turned into. Stone is completely wasted as well, but, to be fair, she might have been a bit miscast. Brolin is usually good at rounding out tough guy characters, but he isn't given much of a chance here. Sean Penn just goes so manically over the top, but that's about par for the course these days for him.

Basically, Cohen has taken over Los Angeles and is terrorizing the city. A group bands together to help take him down. What we get is a bunch of little bits of characters, all with decent set ups, if not a little cliched, but not much is really followed through. If they had taken the time to flesh out those characters a little better, it would have made the over-stylized gun play a little more forgivable.

Based on the book by Paul Lieberman.

In addition to Redbox, Gangster Squad is available on Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon Prime Instant.

Rating: *1/2

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