Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone
Maybe it’s just because the 90’s were all about 20’s gangster movies, but this movie felt so damn 90’s to me it put me into a nostalgia coma from which it took several intense courses of drugs and alcohol to recover. Gangster Squad is kinda somewhere between The Untouchables and Dick Tracy, with a little dollop of L.A. Confidential thrown in to add some slinky dresses. None of this is a compliment, by the way.
A mob boss (Sean Penn) is taking over Los Angeles and Josh Brolin is given the task of taking him out, by making a team of cops that act outside the law. You’ve got Ryan Gosling as the… uh… well Robert Patrick is an old west sherriff-type gunslinger sharpshooter guy, Giovanni Ribisi as the nerd communications officer, Ryan Gosling as… the drunk womanizer? Why is he on the A-Team again? Anyway, it’s a standard cops and robbers thing with Matrix-inspired action sequences. There’s also a subplot about Gosling and Emma Stone having a romantic subplot together that they put on the screen once it’s been a while since you saw a pretty lady.
It’s a pretty unremarkable movie. Josh Brolin does a good impression of young Tommy Lee Jones (or is that how he actually acts?) and Ryan Gosling does a good impression of young Kevin Costner (and that is how he always “acts”), and hell, even Sean Penn does a great job as whatever Dick Tracy villain it was he wished he could’ve been in that movie. There’s lots of explosions and Emma Stone in slinky dresses and no surprises or characters with multiple dimensions, it should be a big hit for everybody who wants to see those same 90’s movies again, only this time it’s… made in the present.