Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster!


GANGSTER SQUAD (2013) Director: Ruben Fleisher Starring: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn Rating: R for Gunfire, explosions, cussing, and Sean Penn chewing the heck out of the scenery.

I’ve never been to Los Angeles, but from what I’ve learned from years of reading, L.A. is a wonderful utopia overflowing with beautiful people, fabulous sights and sounds, and nonstop fun and excitement. Los Angeles is also the home of showbiz, where hard working, intelligent men and women create sheer magic in the form of the highly entertaining and thought provoking films and TV shows we watch and enjoy every day!

But there was a time not very long ago when gun toting gangsters ruled the city of angels, turning the streets into warzones and the warzones into battlefields. So who ya gonna call to clean things up make L.A. safe for decent, honest movie stars?

Gangster Squad!

In 1949, Mickey Cohen’s mob controls L.A. with an iron fist. Anyone who gets in Cohen’s way is brutally eliminated in ways that would make Leatherface lose his lunch.  Mickey Cohen is played by master thespian Sean Penn, who gets into character by putting on a fake nose and copying Robert DeNiro’s performance in The Untouchables. 

Beleaguered LAPD Chief Parker (Nick Nolte in a brief non crazy cameo) knows the only way to battle Cohen’s gang is to be as ruthless as Cohen is, so he asks straight arrow police detective John “Sarge” O’Mara (Josh Brolin and his lantern jaw) to put together a gang of his own to beat bad guys first and ask questions later.

Sarge hand picks a band of rogue cops who each bring their own special talents to the Gangster Squad:

Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), a world weary cop who likes dames as much as he likes being handsome.

Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), an “old timer” who wears an old timey cowboy hat carries an old timey six shooter.

Ramirez (Michael Pena), a young Mexican cop and Kennard’s protege.

Harris (Anthony Mackie), a tough beat cop who is really good with a knife.

Keeler (Giovani Ribisi), an expert on electronics and surveillance.

Sarge’s gangbusters put the hurt on Cohen’s criminal empire, busting up their gambling parlors and intercepting dope shipments. This enrages Cohen who like every mob kingpin has a huge problem with nosy cops who want him to stop robbing and murdering innocent people.  And the less Cohen knows about handsome Wooters diddling his girlfriend Grace (Emma Stone) the better. Never date a mob kingpin’s girlfriend! That’s like the number one rule of dating! The Match.com website has a whole page about it!

Things build to a tense climax when Cohen goes after the families of O’Mara’s crusaders, and O’Mara answers back with an all out assault on Cohen and his army at the landmark Park Plaza Hotel, where gangsters check in but they don’t check out!

The events of Gangster Squad have been depicted in other (sometimes better) movies, so the whole flick has a been there done that kind of feel. But if watching a bunch of attractive A-list stars wearing period costumes and firing machine guns at Sean Penn is what you’re into, you can’t go wrong with renting this movie and spending an evening with Sarge and his Gangster Squad.

You can go very wrong with firing machine guns at Sean Penn in real life. That will only make him mad.  Have you seen what he does to people who only want to shoot his picture? Not pretty.


About Tom Levier

Tom is a New Jersey native who lived in New York City for a while, and is now back in the Garden State. He is creator and writer of Central Park: A Misguide, DVD Critics Corner!, and The Gallows. Please read, comment on, and subscribe to his blogs. It would make him very happy. When not writing, Tom enjoys making jewelry and other handmade items for his shop Cold Garage Creations. Check out his shop on Etsy! https://www.etsy.com/shop/ColdGarageCreations

Posted on July 26, 2013, in Action Movies, Crime Drama, DVD, Humor, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Reviews, Thrillers, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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