You know, when I went into the theatre to watch Gangster Squad, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The critic reviews were not all that good, though the audience reviews were a little better. Let me tell you, I walked out a happy moviegoer.
Ruben Fleischer, the director who also brought us Zombieland, decided to tackle in old school gangster movie an a very unique way. The whole movie is, to me, literally “well balanced”. By this I mean, there are two sides to every point of the film, and each of these mix very well together.
First off, the cast was excellent. Josh Brolin is an excellent actor, and makes a pretty bad ass character in this type of movie. Sean Penn is legendary at this point of his career, and his performance was equally saw. I’m finding it more and more prominent that the actor behind the villain needs to be a great one – and Penn proves this point. Ryan Gosling always provides and exceptional performance and Emma Stone’s performance was as sexy as she her looks.
And with the rest of the great cast, not only are the performances on point – but they have a certain positive energy between them. This energy is perfect when the film tries to keep a very dramatic and serious approach, yet at the same time able to throw a couple lighthearted scenes.
The action and shootout scenes are well done, giving us guns and murders with plenty of blood and violence, yet somehow not making it feel like it was “overdone”.
The “look” of the film is actually very appealing as well. Shot to resemble an old film, yet with the vibrant colors and details of a new movie, you get an excellent picture combination.
Finally, the most important aspect of the film, is the “gangster” quality to it. For those who don’t know me, I’m a huge fan of all these new movies that have a more “gritty” and serious approach to their stories. The new Bond films are the perfect example of this. The recent Batman trilogy is another example of this, as is the latest Star Trek film (to a certain extent).
Gangster Squad did NOT have this. Not completely at least. And in fact, that did not bother me one bit. You see, like every other “balanced” part of this film, so is the movie as a whole. It has that gritty feel that I have come to love and make the story seem more “real”, but at the same time it keeps the “gangster” feel of shootouts, vendetta’s and crime, like the old noir movies used to have. To see Sean Penn come out, guns blazing, is almost comical. Almost being the key word – as it actually works perfectly within its moment. It never felt too “tacky” from one end, nor too “gritty” from the other.
All and all, the movie was well worth watching. If you’re looking for a “deep” movie that will change your mind, you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re looking for good actors, bloody violent actions scenes, intense confrontations, and an overall good crime story – go watch this movie; Because that’s what entertainment is sometimes all about.
I give it a 7.5 out of 10. Let me know what you all think if you end up watching it…