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
The film gives the impression that the Gangster Squad were responsible for Mickey Cohen's arrest. In reality, Cohen was arrested in 1950 for the more mundane crime of tax evasion. He was also not sent to Alcatraz until 1961, over a decade after the film's time frame. See more »
Sgt. John O'Mara:
Every man carries a badge. Some symbol of his allegiance. His were the scars of a boxer who'd used his fists to climb the social ladder of the mob. A Jew who'd gained the respect of wops through a homicidal lust. He'd sworn an oath of violence. And his master? His own insatiable will to power. He wanted to own this town. His name was Mickey Cohen.
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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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