Brilliantly and stylishly recreated story set in Los Angeles, 1949: A secret crew of police officers led by a determined sergeant (Josh Brolin) pull off a hard fight against a local mobster . As sergeant John O'Mara happily married to pregnant Connie O'Mara (Mireille Enos , though Amy Adams and Kate Winslet were considered to play her) is assigned by Chief W.H. Parker (Nick Nolte, who portrays , previously played the leader of the gangster squad in Mulholland Falls) to enlist a brave group (Jamie Foxx and Bryan Cranston were considered for the roles but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with their other movies) . As they work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) who runs the city . O'Mara chooses 4 officers (Robert Patrick , Anthony McKee , Giovanni Rivisi , Michael Peña) and asks another cop and vet, Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling , though Adam Brody, Joel Edgerton, Luke Evans and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were on the short list for the part) to join him but he is not interested , but when he witnesses a killing , he joins them . Then , Wooters falls in love for Mickey Cohen's girlfriend called Grace Faraday (Emma Stone , though Teresa Palmer, Camilla Belle, Aly Michalka, Lily Collins, Emmy Rossum, Amanda Seyfried and Maggie Grace auditioned for this character) This is a violence-ridden story full of action, drama , thriller and being pretty entertaining . Intelligent and suspenseful script in ¨The Untouchables¨ style , being written by Will Beall based on the book "Gangster Squad" from Paul Lieberman . Spectacular as well as explosive shoot'em up on the streets , mansion , station and Chinatown . Josh Brolin is excellent as impulsive and obstinate enforcer fighting against the underworld crime . Robert Patrick plays to perfection a veteran, incorruptible police who takes under his experience and protection to Michael Peña . And Sean Penn overacting in a heinous role as the nasty Mickey Cohen , Penn went through 3 hours of makeup each morning . Flamboyant and rich photography by Dion Beebe . Thrilling as well as atmospheric musical score by Steve Jablonsky . The motion picture was beautifully directed by Ruben Fleischer . This superb recounting will appeal immensely to Josh Brolin , Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone fans.The flick was partially based on real events : In the movie, the Gangster Squad is assembled to go after Mickey Cohen. However, in real life Chief W.H. Parker set up the squad to prevent other gangsters from taking over Cohen's rackets after Cohen went to prison on income tax evasion. Whenever the squad learned that out-of-town gangsters were coming to Los Angeles to try to set up new operations, the Gangster Squad would kidnap them, beat them up and then send them back to wherever they came from with the warning that if they ever returned, they would be killed . Other films dealing with this famous gangster Mickey Cohen are the followings : Bugsy (1991) played by Harvey Keitel , Fallen Angels (1993) played by James Woods , The Rat Pack (1998) (TV) played by Alan Woolf , L.A. Confidential (1997) played by Paul Guilfoyle , and recent TV series Mob City (2013) played by Jeremy Luke , including similar characters to 'The gangster squad' being starred by Jon Bernthal , Milo Ventimiglia, Neal McDonough , Alexa Davalos , Jeffrey DeMunn and Robert Knepper.
GANGSTER SQUAD is a light, fast-paced gangster action movie set in Los Angeles, 1949. It offers something a little more superficial and action-packed than the heady delights of TV's BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and is of course the inferior piece in every respect, but nonetheless it still packs the punch thanks to a strong storyline and fun performances from the majority of the cast.The film is a walking cliché of course, and to describe it I would say that it's THE UNTOUCHABLES meets MUNICH with a touch of THE RAID sprinkled in at the end. The director is a bad choice - the goofy Ruben Fleischer also handled the comedy misfire ZOMBIELAND - but somehow the movie still works. Josh Brolin is a delight as the hard-assed cop and Ryan Gosling is effective as his more laidback younger sidekick. There are nice character parts for Robert Patrick (the best he's been in ages) and Giovanni Ribisi, and the only misfire is an overacting Sean Penn, virtually unrecognisable behind heavy prosthetics and chuckling away like a comic book villain.GANGSTER SQUAD has plenty of action to recommend it, and it's well shot throughout, although a little dark in places. The storyline has plenty of humour and even though the events and situations that arise are familiar, they somehow work thanks to the entertaining script. It's no masterpiece, and indeed is nothing more than a forgettable popcorn flick, but it's one that delivers the goods nonetheless.
Before major league baseball came to the west coast if you referred to the Mick in the Fifties it wasn't Mantle they were talking about. And Mickey Rooney was kind of eclipsed in the title. No that would have been gangster Mickey Cohen, a crude, violent, and vulgar man who ruled Los Angeles organized crime and was often at odds with quieter and less attention getting folks like Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello.If you watched Warren Beatty's classic Bugsy you saw the genesis of Cohen's character played there by Harvey Keitel. After the contract hit on Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel in 1947, Cohen became number one in organized crime on the West Coast. Sean Penn picks up on that character and puts his own particular stamp on Cohen. As a performer Penn amazes me at the range of what he can play. Ironically at 5'9" Penn is two short to have played the over six foot Harvey Milk for which he won his second Oscar and he's too tall to have played 5'5" Mickey Cohen. But Penn made these parts his own and dominates both of those films.Cohen attracts so much attention unto himself that reform police chief William Parker played by Nick Nolte has decided that he has to do nothing but declare a no quarter war in secret less civil libertarians get up in arms. So he recruits an idealistic Josh Brolin for the job. After this the plot of this film runs pretty close to Kevin Costner's The Untouchables with Brolin being far less of a boy scout than Costner was as Eliot Ness.Wife Mireille Enos makes the useful suggestion that for this kind of disagreeable work of being LA's own secret police, Brolin needs some disagreeable people for the squad. Those he gets are Robert Patrick, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi, and cynical war veteran Ryan Gosling who makes war on Cohen real personal by moving in on his main squeeze Emma Stone. Both Stone and Enos have the only two women's roles of substance, but both prove to be critical in shaping the motivations of all the men around them.Unlike what you see here, Mickey Cohen did not go down for first degree murder. Like Al Capone whom he tried to emulate in methods and style, Cohen was taken down by the audit boys at the IRS and like Capone did a stretch in Alcatraz. Still if you're wanting action, the final shootout between Penn and his hired guns and the Gangster Squad recruited by Brolin should more than satisfy anyone's craving.Gangster Squad like the more fictionalized LA Confidential before it is a great depiction of a bygone era and a colorful one. And Sean Penn totally dominates this film, hitting on all levels the various the various strains in the psyche that made up Mickey Cohen. 2b1af7f3a8