Culture Street

Gangster Squad

On January 16, 2013

By Sophia Whitfield

Set in the late 1940s Gangster Squad is based on the true story of a select group of LAPD detectives that attempt to keep Los Angeles safe from the grip of mob boss Mickey Cohen.

The group of misfits leave their badges at home as they attempt to circumvent the hold Cohen has on the LAPD and the judicial system. Led by Sergeant OíHara (Josh Brolin) they embark on a crusade against Cohen at the behest of Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte), Chief of the LAPD.

With the help of his wife OíHara recruits five other men to assist him on his mission. Ryan Gosling plays the disillusioned Sergeant Jerry Wooters with an eye for Grace, Cohenís girl, played by Emma Stone. It is not the first time these two have met on screen; they played a couple in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Their on screen chemistry is palpable.

The film begins violently and continues in that vein, but one scene, in which armed men fire into the audience from behind the screen at Graumanís Chinese Theatre, was removed from the film after the Aurora cinema shooting. Warner Bros immediately pulled the trailer and pushed the release date back six months to reshoot the scene. The film flows well with no sign of where the scene was cut and replaced.

This is a classic gangster film full of gun fights and car chases with recoginsable LA landmarks throughout. Robert Fleischer, director of Zombieland, has created an action filled entertaining film.

Fleischer has used vibrant and rich colours, saturating the film in eye popping film noir style which takes the audience back to the glamour of the era. Club interiors are lavish and the clothes stunning.

There are terrific performances by an incredible cast topped off by Sean Penn who emulates a classic menacing mob boss.


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