Sunday, 27 January 2013

Movie Review - Gangster Squad


Wouldn't that mean that they're the gangsters?

   The mobsters era of the 40's and 50's is a time of sex and violence. Bosses think they can get away with anything and most of the times, they do. But other times, they clash with righteous men who refuse to stand by while bad things happen to good people.  Enter the Gangster Squad.
Gosling forgot his tie.
   Mickey Cohen is sitting pretty in Los Angeles. He's all set to solidify his criminal empire with his drug, prostitution, gambling operations. Sergeant John O'Mara distinguishes himself by defying the mob boss and is selected to destroy Cohen's empire, albeit unofficially. O'Mara gathers a motley crew, including an officer having an affair with Cohen's etiquette teacher and together they wage war against the mob.
My gun isn't loaded.
   The plot isn't untouched territory but it is still pretty solid. The few and the righteous 'cowboy'ing it up against insurmountable odds is always entertaining. They even have a genuine gunslinger and his ethnic companion in tow. As the story is based on some real life characters, some elements are probably embellished. What isn't quite romanticized is the love story aspect as it isn't quite a huge part of the plot. It is noted to draw the audience but its importance is not quite as stressed as it could be. In fact, for a film with prostitution in it, there is very little in terms of sexual exploitation. There is a bathtub scene but your mileage may vary, of course.
This isn't a flame thrower.
   The opening is a rather horrific display of violence. One might split the scene after such a demonstration. It's followed by examples of brutality with the police's hands-off approach to Cohen's business. The extreme violence is expected. The blood flows freely in this flick though the specialized wetworks in the beginning doesn't quite carry through the rest of the film. What isn't expected is the amount of humor tossed into the fray. The confrontation at the casino, the jailbreak, the shooting session... very amusing scenes. The levity is appreciated amidst the intense atmosphere though some might think it's out of place.
Hat Squad!
   Gangster Squad is an exciting ride. It's action-packed with humor and drama to keep you entertained. The minutes will fly by as fast as the bullets moving through the air. It might be a little strange to call a true-to-life, based-on-real-events gangster movie as 'fun' but it really was quite enjoyable.
This scene had to be re-shot because of a theater attack.
   SPOILERS! Don't look unless you've seen the movie or Mickey Cohen will send his goons after you!
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I'm secretly smelling your hair.
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   There was not much fuss about the African American being in the group. Progressive in a regressive media?
Would you go home with a guy who sells Bibles?
   Gosling and Stone had the dog in the ending! They stole Mickey Cohen's pet, haha!

   I wasn't quite sure how T-1000's Mexican companion got involved. Who was he? Funny though.
Pre road rage.
   I liked how Brolin's wife was opposed to the idea but she didn't play the 'boohoo, my husband will die' hysterical kind of wife. She supported him and helped him pick out candidates and handled herself well when the firing started.

   I really loved the humor. The shoot the can lesson, the failed casino attack, the bugging kiss, the knife cutting remarks... Funny stuff, haha.

   I really thought there would be more shocking mutilations since the film did start with the guy getting torn in half then the thug getting his hand cut off. But after that, it was just the drill to the head then everyone else got shot down.
Hard.  As Stone.
   I really thought sex would be a required bit, like 'sexy, crime drama where love is dangerous' and all that but there wasn't much gratuitousness, even with their stars. I don't know of the lack of exploitation was good or bad, haha.

   Why did the killer's coat catch on fire during the wiretapper's murder? I thought for a few second that it would cause a distraction and the good guy would survive. Too bad.
I've got a gun in my pocket.
   Gosling's friend wasn't a plant? He was just really working for Cohen?

   You just knew the kid was going to buy it.
My badge is in my hat.
   Gosling was supposed to be jaded and cynical enough not to initially join the squad but he just looked too young to be hardened by the corruption.
Play the Rocky theme song here.

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