It's 1949 Los Angeles, and gangster Mickey Cohen has moved in, with the intention of controlling all criminal activity in the city. He has bought local judges and police, and no one is willing to cross him or testify against him. Everyone except Seargant John O'Mara, a former World War II soldier, whose goal is to settle with his family in a peaceful Los Angeles. Police Chief William Parker decides to form a special unit whose mission is to take down Cohen, and chooses O'Mara to lead the unit. O'Mara chooses 4 cops and asks another cop and vet, Jerry Wooters to join him but Wooters is not interested. But when he witnesses the murder of a young boy by Cohen's people, he joins them, and they decide to take apart Cohen's organization. Cohen wonders if a rival is going after him, but eventually he realizes it's the cops. Written by
In the movie, the Gangster Squad is assembled to go after Mickey Cohen. However in real life Chief 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 an out-of-town gangster was coming to Los Angeles to try and set up new operations, the Gangster Squad would kidnap them, beat them up (some rumors say torture) and then send them back to wherever they came from with the warning that if the gangster ever returned, he would be killed. See more »
The movie suggests that Mickey Cohen had Jack Dragna murdered in his own house, but in real life Jack Dragna died of an heart attack years later. The movie is set in the late 40's/early 50's while Dragna died of the heart attack in '56. See more »
I saw a screening of Gangster Squad last night and to say the least, I was unimpressed. I had decent expectations for the film with a stout cast the likes of Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling along with a director whose last two films I enjoyed (Zombieland and 30 Mins or Less). So what went wrong? Like the summary says it was incredibly cliché of every gangster movie out there and tried so hard to be like LA Confidential and the Untouchables. While this movie would have done much better in the 90's I don't feel it fits in this generation of film.
You have Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen who decides he wants to be the king of Los Angeles and he will take out whoever is in his way. Nick Nolte plays the police chief who is tired of the way LA is going and recruits hard nosed, do-as-I-please Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to create a crack team to take Cohen down. From there you have the obligatory round-up-the team where he gets the bi-focal smart guy, the past-his-prime outlaw and side kick, the token black guy, and the cop who doesn't want to join at first but is thrust into the fray.
You then have a typical hunt down the bad guy, have a couple of shoot outs where an incredible amount of bullets fly and no one gets touched, and a very flat romance where you wonder why these two are together for no other reason than they are really good looking. There were also moments in the climax of the movie where the audience burst out in laughter and I feel that it was incredibly unwarranted.
The only real redeeming quality was Sean Penn who gave an intense, powerful performance as Mickey Cohen. All in all I was disappointed in Gangster Squad and feel like the entire movie brought nothing new to the table of the gangster genre.
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