I'm not sure what it is about the genre, but gangster movies are generally underappreciated in their time, but go on to become cult classics. In evidence, titles such as Scarface, Casino, Dick Tracy, Gangs of New York, Once Upon a Time in America and A Touch of Evil...I could go on and on. Gangster Squad will probably make plenty of money owing to its hot cast, but I'm pretty sure it won't be reappraised in future years from anything more than 'average'.
The year is 1949. Ex-boxer and feared gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) has Los Angeles in his pocket, with lawyers, police and judges all in his employ and no one willing to prosecute him. But there are some good men left. Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) has had enough and calls on Sergeant John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to establish a team of solid cops to take him down and clean up the city. But with a police force so deeply mired in corruption, the squad won't be officially sanctioned, forced to rely on their own resourcefulness to exploit the holes in Cohen's systems and protect not only themselves, but their loved ones.
Gangster Squad seems to have taken The Untouchables as its inspiration, borrowing the same structure, but filling it with more blood, a harder edge and more sex appeal. But where that film is a satisfyingly compelling dramatization of Al Capone, that's where the similarities end.
On the surface, the film seems to tick all the right boxes, including great sets, and abundance of CG, slick visuals and a great cast, but this is a film that is tonally closer to Dick Tracy than The Untouchables.
And that's a real shame too, because in another universe, with a stronger script and a different director, Gangster Squad could have stood side by side with that film as one of the great dramatizations of larger than life villains.
Sadly,Gangster Squad's most unforgiveable crime is that it so comprehensively wastes its strong A+ list cast, never requiring more than a bat of an eye-lid from Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling to stand back and smolder the screen. Penn's scenery chewing as the wholly one-dimensional Cohen seems to channel Al Pacino, but falls far short of the mark. Let's remember, he's an Oscar winner for god's sake.
Ultimately, Gangster Squad just feels like a film doesn't know what it wants to be. Cinema by numbers. Film making by faceless studio heads. I'll admit, it has its entertaining moments, but at the end of the day, a good looking mess is still just a mess.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Vivendi could push for an Ubisoft takeover this year
- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds charity event: May 4
- Jeff Goldblum joins 'Jurassic World 2' cast
- MSI bundles super-fast Optane M.2 with motherboards
- Director hoping for 'Guardians of the Galaxy' 4K Blu-ray
- Synology RT2600ac Wireless Router Review
- Cursor disappearing randomly
- AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11G Review
- Intel Optane Memory 32GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 K6 USB 3.1/TB Issues
- Nokia partners with Lucasfilm to deliver an immersive behind-the-scenes VR experience of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- New LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 bridges the port gap and delivers massive capacity to streamline creative workflows
- ENERMAX launches D.F. STORM, the 3500RPM fan featuring self-cleaning design
- Tenda unveils new USB 3.0 AC1300 wireless network adapter
- SAPPHIRE introduces new PULSE graphics card family