Movie Review: Gangster Squad
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Saturday, February 16, 2013 12:02
Ruben Fleischer’s “Gangster Squad” certainly had a lot of potential. Packed with an incredible cast (Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin, to name a few), the film tells the loosely historical story of the downfall of famous gangster Mickey Cohen, set against a gorgeous 1940s Los Angeles with all its neo-noir glory.
Unfortunately, the charm ends there. The story progresses in a tired linear manner, which drags on for too long with no meaningful scenes. The lackluster plot is only worsened by the cookie-cutter characters. With the exception of Gosling and Stone’s relationship, which had definite chemistry, there was a clear lack of character development. As a result, the meaningless and overdrawn climax almost became a parody.
From a technical standpoint, the film is incredibly well made. If one can overlook the dull story, it somewhat makes up for its shortcomings by featuring outstanding cinematography and exceptional costume design. The atmosphere is perfect, and it certainly merits a viewing by fans of gangster flicks or film noir. One can only wonder how great this film could have been had Fleischer spent a little less time trying to unsuccessfully copy “L.A. Confidential” and “The Untouchables” and put a little more effort into developing better characters to place into his wonderful vision of Los Angeles.