Gangster Squad – Should I Watch It?

Intro to… Gangster Squad
Gangster Squad is an action movie set in the 50s. We all know what that means: an irresistible dame in a red dress, a fedora wearing hard-ass detective, and slick haired suit-wearing tommy gun wielding mobsters. And it has all this, but should you watch it?

The Plot
In 1949 the city of Los Angeles was at the mercy of a group of gangsters run by the brutal and unforgiving mobster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). He stole, murdered, and intimidated himself to the top. He owns judges, police officers, and politicians. He thinks himself untouchable.

That is until former soldier John O’Mara (Josh Brolin), now a sergeant within the LAPD, has enough of it. He saves a young girl from being molested and shuts down one of Cohen’s operations. This catches the eye of Police Chief William Parker (Nick Nolte). He calls for O’Mara and commands him for doing a fine job. In fact, he has a special assignment: to form a squad of police officers that are willing to break the rules and risk their life to fight Cohen and save the city.

Should I Watch It?
The first scene is simple, short, and lets you understand the entire story. Los Angeles is no longer a city; it is property of Mickey Cohen. The story is clear and its introduction was executed beautifully. It drags you in and does not let you go.

The start of the movie is the highlight of the movie. It sets the tone in a splendid way. The rest of the film is pretty good, it has a lot of gun blazing action and a compelling story, but it never carries the same impact. And I could not stop hoping for the movie to reach that height again. Regardless, Gangster Squad was a really entertaining watch.

Casting has done a great job. Sean Penn makes a credible and intimidating crime lord and Josh Brolin is perfect for the role of hard-ass officer. My only real complaint is that Ryan Gosling felt really out of place. Compared to his fellow squad members he looks and sounds rather… soft, I would almost call him girly. He is supposed to be slick and charming, but comes over as silly and annoying. His and Emma Stone’s roles also carry no real purpose to the story. It would have made more sense to the story, as well as improve the flow of the movie, if their characters would have been cut.

Gangster Squad is a visually outstanding movie and kicks off in a way that makes you beg for more. It introduces interesting characters and has several strong action scenes. Unfortunately it does not exploit its full potential but it still makes for a fine action movie.

Yes, watch it.

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