movies: gangster squad

gangster squad: no names. no badges. no mercy.
Gangster Squad is a slightly odd combination of the 1940's gangster movie and a modern day action movie. And it definitely tips it's hat to the fact that it's referencing movies of the past.

So I'm willing to overlook some of the really clunky dialogue as being in the spirit of those older movies. Although to be honest the worst parts are Josh Brolin's narration at the beginning and end of the movie.

There were a few other moments within the movie, but for the most part I was honestly too caught up in the story and the action to pay all that much attention to them.

Gangster Squad is definitely one of those movies that takes off at an almost breakneck speed and doesn't really let up for the entire run time. Somehow even the slower dialogue scenes don't seem to impede the pace of the movie all that much.

And while there's more than a few violent scenes, I didn't really find it too over the top. It's not Kill Bill for example... it at least tends not to linger on the acts as they occur.

Probably the strongest part of the movie is the cast... Brolin is solid and feels very "hard boiled" in the lead role, while Sean Penn does a wonderful job as real life gangster Mickey Cohen.

I'll freely admit (and have done to a number of people recently) that I don't get the general fascination with Ryan Gosling... I think he must exude "straight girl pheromones" or something, because the ladies go nuts for him but I don't get it. Having said that he does play the "sheep in wolf's clothing" really well in this movie. A lot of his dialogue does feel very much like it's been lifted from a 40's movie, but it suits the character.

I still haven't seen Emma Stone play a bad part... although her part here seems to be somewhat smaller than I was expecting... but she plays it well. There was one scene between her and Gosling (over breakfast) that felt somewhat out of place and a little clunky, but even then Stone was good.

Robert Patrick has a great role as a grizzled old gunslinger, although I didn't recognise him until I saw his name in the credits and Nick Nolte is looking equally grizzled as the chief of police.

And a special mention should go to Mireille Enos who plays Brolin's wife. The role isn't a massive one, but she plays it with a great mix of humour and concern.

While the movie does feel occasionally over the top (and there were more than a few moments when I either thought "well, the Mythbusters already proved that doesn't work"... weird but true), it is entertaining.

yani's rating: 2 bullet holes out of 5

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