Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Funny, Enjoyable and Entertaining
on 11 January 2013
Considering how exciting and brilliant Gangster Squad is I'm guessing that this film isn't so much 'Based on a true story' but 'Inspired by a true story'. Really though I couldn't care less because in my opinion Gangster Squad is one of the films of the year. 5 or 10 years from now I can see myself still watching this film because it is a really entertaining action film. It might be highly fictionalised and Mickey Cohen might have died quietly in his sleep, but really who cares?
Sean Penn is in the best form of his career (o.k. not his career considering that he is after all an Oscar winner) but he is darn good at doing an over the top supervillian of the Bond variety in his magnificant portrayal of 1940s gangster Mickey Cohen. Ryan Gosling is good as the charming Jerry who steals Mickeys favourite girl; a great Emma Stone. But for me this film belongs to Josh Brolin (who was great in the average MIB3). Brolin is on top form as the honest cop John O'Mara who can't stop fighting even now the war is over. I would mention Nick Nolte but his part is so small its more like a cameo. One more thing about the cast, Robert Patrick also makes an appearance which is nice considering the last film I seen him in had John Cena in it.
The 1940s setting in Los Angeles looks amazing with the old 'Hollywoodland' sign still intact and all the old cars. The style is also matched by the substance. Now one thing that you should know is that this film is highly fictionalised so don't take it too seriously. It is an entertaining, enjoyable and sometimes funny action film set in the 1940s with nearly ever cliche that an action film has. THIS MIGHT BE A SPOILER SO LOOK AWAY: One character has a loving family, no prizes for guessing what happens to him. I mean I laughed so hard when he was being recruited because he was almost guaranteed to meet a sad end.
NO MORE SPOILERS: O.K no more mention of the plot. Now for some plot mentions. The funniest bit in the film is the raid on Cohens casino. Who are they? in reference to two men in costume. O'Maras reply? Movie Extras. Now the raid itself is so brilliant becuase based on the trailers I thought that the 'gangster squad' was going to be superhuman but the raid is botched in the most comical fashion ever.
Gangster Squad is well worth a look and while it will certainly never sit with the classic gangster films like 'The Godfather' and 'Goodfellas' the film never feels like it was ever trying to. The film does exactly what it set out to do which was to entertain its audience with an action film set in the 1940s with some humour thrown in. This film is not a history lesson although I did learn more history from this than from Ice Road Truckers.