Remember watching the trailer for GANGSTER SQUAD last summer?
One of its most memorable scenes showed goons with tommy guns positioned behind the huge screen at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre blasting audience members right through the screen.
Well, that scene obviously needed to go following the massacre at Cinemark‘s theater in Aurora, Colorado. In fact Warner Brothers decided to move the film’s release date back to this weekend from its original September 7th date.
Hold it right there!
September 7, 2012 was the Friday AFTER Labor Day Weekend which traditionally is considered to be one of the worst when it comes to movie going.
So the question is whether Warner Brothers really knew what they had with GANGSTER SQUAD? Why else would they have chosen that date?
With that in mind, my expectations for the gangster flick were low. And guess what, the movie exceeded them.
Granted the film boasts a fine stellar cast. Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena, Robert Patrick and Giovanni Ribisi among others.
Maybe that’s why it all feels worse than it really is?
The setting here is late 1940’s Los Angeles where Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey (Sean Penn) Cohen pretty well runs Hollywoodland. Drugs, gambling, prostitution, Cohen controls it all. Not to mention most of the cops and politicians whom he’s got on his payroll.
That’s when L.A.P.D. Chief Parker—played by Nick Nolte—forms a secret unit to curtail and bring down Cohen and his gang.
VIOLENT? Oh YEAH!
The movie’s opening scene alone has Cohen directing his goons to tear a guy apart. Literally.
Two cars heading in opposite directions with the victim chained to them in the middle.
And if that’s not bad enough, hungry dogs lapping up the torn leftovers.
But the real problem with the film (in my humble opinion) is that it can’t seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be a spoof or the real McCoy?
The acting is extremely weak and cartoonish. Call it L.A. CONFIDENTIAL LITE. Or how about BUGSY meets DICK TRACY?
As I said, I came to the screening with low expectations and wasn’t disappointed. Maybe you’ll find something in this melodrama that I’m not seeing.
THE GANGSTER SQUAD; New citywide barely raising 2-1/2 out of 5 contrived fingers.
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