admin On febbraio - 19 - 2013

Gangster Squad

Review by ChiaraSpagnoli

If you’re in the mood for a guilty pleasure Ruben Fleisher’s film will be just your cup of tea!

‘Gangster Squad’ projects the viewer in 1949’s Los Angeles. The city of angels is tackling with the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). But his entire racket will have to face the intervention of a small and secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling).

Despite the amusingly enjoyable Tarantinian blood spread direction (Ruben Fleisher) and editing (Alan Baumgarten and James Herbert), the script doesn’t fulfil its purpose. Some punch lines are completely disorientating. There seems to be a clash of intentions between director and screenwriter: Ruben Fleischer and Will Beall can't decide whether to make a spoof or a serious drama, so they wrongheadedly attempt both. The highly stylised pulp-fiction period piece, based on true events, captures for the glossy costumes and outstanding cast, but fails in out-beating it’s predecessors gangster milestones such as ‘The Untouchables,’ ‘Scarface’ or ‘The Godfather.’

Sean Penn fills the shoes of the villain outstandingly, and it is pure delight to see Emma Stone wearing magnificent period haute couture dresses in the arms of the man with the magnetic glance, Ryan Gosling. Nick Nolte needs not move a muscle on his face playing the unflappable hero, as if he could actually manage to fight his Botox mask. Interesting physical and performative transformation of the mormon actress, Mireille Enos, known for her lead role in the television series ‘The Killing.’ And yet, regardless of a cast of gifted actors, lush 1940s production design and suave costumes, ‘Gangster Squad’ is so superficial it simply evaporates before our eyes.


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