Friday, January 11, 2013

Gangster Squad Movie Review

Sean Penn stars in Gangster Squad

From our friends at DC Film Review...

Gangster Fraud

2013 begins with a resounding thud in Ruben Fleischer’s laughably bad crime drama Gangster Squad, a cliché-ridden waste of $75 million that’s sure to go down as one of the year’s biggest flops... not to mention a major embarrassment to its star-studded cast, none of whom sparkle in this lifeless dud.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and-if he has his way-every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It's enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop... except perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling,) who come together to try to tear Cohen's world apart.

Director: Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less and commercials for Burger King, McDonald’s and Boost Mobile... proving anyone can be a director in Hollywood.)

What’s Best: Nothing. There isn’t an ounce of originality in this monstrosity of a film.

What’s Not: DC-born Fleischer takes bits and pieces of several movies (The Matrix, The Untouchables) and assembles them in ruinous fashion. Will Beall’s screenplay is beyond awful (Warner Bros. picked this guy to handle 2015’s Justice League?) Spinning newspaper headlines, countless poses (Look at me, I’m cool) and enough mindless violence to beg the question, “What did they take out after Aurora?”

The acting is pretty bad (Brolin is reduced to grunts and punches. Gosling sounds like a nine-year old boy; and Penn’s accent goes in and out like a bad cell phone signal.) Fleischer jams 60-second scenes wherever he deems fit; not to mention ridiculous slow-motion action sequences, which look hopelessly out of place in 1949 Los Angeles.

Last, but not least... O’Mara’s “Magnificent Seven” is put together so poorly, that even his wife distances herself from the inclusion of “the Mexican”...”I didn’t pick him.” Him is Michael Peña, a superb actor fresh off a brilliant turn in End of Watch, who’s reduced to the same token status afforded the equally proficient Anthony Mackie. Their inclusion (or at least the manner in which it’s done) is insulting at best. Hopefully, the attention settles on bigger names like Brolin, Gosling and Penn... all of whom have no business being attached to something so terrible.

Worst Line: 2x Oscar winning best actor Sean Penn utters, “My whole crop of cunts is ruined” after Brolin’s Sgt. Mara foils a gang rape. Nice: Whatever happened to quality control?

Overall: Midway through Gangster Squad, Emma Stone coughs up, “Where have you been all my miserable life?” One could only hope she was talking to her agent, who (like everyone else’s representation) left their client out to dry by signing on the dotted line. In anyone else’s hands, this movie should have been a stone-cold winner... instead of the stone-cold killer it becomes under Fleischer’s listless watch.

Grade: F