Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gangster Squad


What did you do yesterday? Wanna know what I did? I went to the cinemas and saw a film I have been anticipating for months...And this film was Gangster Squad.
When it was coming closer to the release date for this film, I could just feel myself becoming more and more excited. FINALLY the 10th of January rolled round, and it was exactly like Christmas morning for me. I barely slept because of the excitement. On my to the cinemas there was 2 billboards with Gangster Squad movie posters on them, which made my excitement, reach a whole new level. I got to the cinema nearly an hour before the film started, deep down I was thinking, maybe if I sit here the time will go so quickly...it didn't. 

But when I finally got to sit in my seat and drink my frozen coke and watch the Django Unchained trailer, I felt calm and ready for this cinematic experience. 

Firstly, the opening will grab you by the balls and not let go. If you like your gangster movies to be real violent, you will not be disappointed. The opening caused such a reaction inside of me, that I started talking out loud. After such a scene, the cinema had gone quiet and all you hear is this; 'Awwwwww SHIEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTT'. Needless to say this happened several times throughout the movie. 

The storyline is a simple one, and it's a classic as well. Here is a quick run down of what it is. Mickey Cohen(Sean Penn) is an LA gangster who has bribed cops and judges all throughout the LA district and then some. Mickey Cohen is blatantly getting away with this, so in comes a pissed off yet calm Police Chief Parker(Nick Nolte), who will authorise and 'off the books' gang of men who will take down Mickey Cohen's racketeering. This is where Sgt. John O'Mara(Josh Brolin) comes in, and he doesn't even think twice about bringing down Mickey Cohen's empire. 

John O'Mara is now on a mission to find a group of guys, all with different skills to offer, to come together and take down the LA mob. And boy does he get a cool gang of mofos! It takes them a little while to find their feet when it comes to bringing down Mickey Cohen, but for me I found that believeable. If you are working with different guys, who you don't really know anything about besides their first name,  it's going to be hard to find tactics which you can agree on and make work. 

Now while all this craziness is going on, you have to include a little bit of forbidden romance. Here you have Sgt. Jerry Wooters(Ryan Gosling), a ladies man who has his eyes on Grace Faraday(Emma Stone). Big mistake though, as you could have guessed this is Mickey Cohen's girl. Deep down she doesn't want to be with Mickey, but now realises she can't simply leave him. Grace and Jerry have their little romance, which obviously is going to be strained because of the situation at hand, but it's simple. The romance doesn't take over the film, it is just a sub plot which isn't the main focus. 

After seeing this movie, and getting so excited that I couldn't eat anything after, I would say it did it's job. I heard the reviews were pretty crap on this film, and I know why. When you talk about the genre of Gangster Movies, most people tend to think of titles such as Goodfellas, Godfather, Scarface right? Now because of this people have this image in their head of what every single gangster movie should be like. This is why films like Mobsters never got the recognition it deserved. Gangster Squad has that Dick Tracey vibe to it, but extremely less camp and more grittier. This film remind's me of those black and white Batman serials which were played in the cinemas in the 1940's. Most of the villains in those were gangsters with Tommy guns. 

Do not go into this film believing what these narrow minded critics have said about it. I think a lot of critics and the 'Gangster Film Know-it-alls', think that all of these types of movies should be over 2 hours long, have a long time line of the main protagonists life and be quite serious for the most part. Gangster Squad is a serious film, but it is a lot of fun too, and just because a film is fun, isn't a reason for it to be given a bad review. The relationship that each member from the Gangster Squad have with one another is great. Sure they are each different in their own right, but they all compliment each other well. I also think because the film focuses more on the group of guys rather than Mickey Cohen for most of the film, people weren't used to that, and probably haven't seen that done since The Untouchables. And already reviews are coming back saying this is a blatant rip off of The Untouchables. I can see where they are coming from, but at the same time, both of their stories are different to each other.

Either way go see this movie people! If you love gangster movies, men in suits, Tommy guns, and overall just a group of guys shooting up everything and kicking the shit out the bad guys, then you need to get your ass off the couch and put it in a cinema seat! Take this movie, for the kickassery that it is. 

I'd give this 10 outta 10 Tommy Guns!  

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