“Gangster Squad”

January 19th, 2013 at 1:02 pm by under A Look at the Movies

Two_StarRated R

2 hours 10 minutes

Starring: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn

Life is cheap among the mostly one dimensional characters in “Gangster Squad”. In desperation, the cops become vigilantes to bring down Los Angeles Mobster Mickey Cohen.

But the Incredible blood spattered shoot ‘em up is mostly a waste of good actors.

Straight arrow Josh Brolin has to convince skeptical Ryan Gosling to join the noble cause. The realistic 1950′s atmosphere is just about the only thing “Gangster Squad” has going for it as far as credibility’s concerned.

That, along with Sean Penn’s foaming at the mouth performance as the infamous Los Angeles crime boss, who sees the unorthodox Police action whittling away his underworld empire.

Dramatically the film looks phony, the characters unreal, like some gaudy western with tommy guns instead of six shooters.

“Gangster Squad” is closer in spirit to “Dick Tracy” than that really solid period piece, “L.A. Confidential”. And no one in the cast is more misused than Emma Stone. We’re to believe she seamlessly switches from Mickey Cohen’s “Gang Moll” to Ryan Gosling’s lover.

“Gangster Squad” comes up with numerous other conclusions that are just too tough to swallow. Is it any wonder, “Ganger Squad” musters only enough dramatic punch for a woefully inadequate 2 stars.

With bullets flying every which way, we know why the shaky script ended up with so many holes.

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