Director Ruben Fleischer has created one of the best trigger-happy crime-adventure movies I’ve seen in a long time. Set in post Second World War conditions where a gangster, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is running LA and corrupting society. As one of the few cops that hadn’t been bought, Sargent John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) is given the task of fighting Cohen’s gang. His gang, dubbed ‘The Gangster Squad’ who abandoned their badges and dropped their names, consisted of: Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), Officer Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie) Officer Navidad Ramirez (Michael Peña) Officer Conway Keeler (Giovani Ribisi). This combination of characters along with the love story between Ryan Gosling’s character and Grace Faraday (Emma Stone) makes this movie a compelling watch.
This film illuminates the dark world of the underground dealings between gangs in 1940s/50s America, paying close attention to the corruption of the police and how people were so against the idea of change, even though it would better the society as a whole. One of the quotes by Jerry Wooters was “The whole place is underwater and you’re grabbing a bucket when you should be grabbing a bathing suit” – this quote makes the audience understand how even the good-police thought there was no way of reversing the gangster corruption. This film is a sort of autobiography of Al Capone crossed with a Robin Hood baseline; that is to say that the morals of the Gangster Squad were consistent with the ideologies of Robin Hood’s gang – trying to stand up to evil without recognition.
Originally it was set to be released in September 2012, but in the wake of the 2012 Aurora Cinema shooting (much like a scene in the film), it was re-scheduled to January 11, 2013 by Warner Bros. Pictures. Despite this, it still grossed over $17 million on it’s début weekend in the USA. This all American film, produced by Langley Park Productions, Lin Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, is sure to keep you on the edge of your seats for the entire 2 hours.
Overall Rating: ★★★