What happens when a select group of LA's sworn angels are unleashed upon on a crime king suffering from a doosey of a God-complex?
Give up? You get a killer movie called "Gangster Squad" featuring some of the best well-dressed deaths in cinema history. O'Mara(Brolin) and Jerry(Gosling) work side-by-side to throw a serious monkey wrench in Cohen's criminal enterprise throughout this 100+ minute cinematic treat. This film is loosely grounded around true events related to an actual kingpin named Mickey Cohen.
The story begins with Sergeant O'Mara(Brolin) taking matters into his own hands as he thwarts a would be
criminal act involving some of Cohen's minions. This act of blasphemy doesn't rub Cohen in the right way, but it gains the attention of Chief Parker(Nolte) who would like to utilize O'Mara's passion in the city's favor.
Parker asks O'Mara to assemble a squad of like-minded guardians to desecrate Cohen's reign of terror within the city of LA. O'Mara begins assembling his team of angels, by requesting the services of five halos such as Jerry(Gosling), a fellow cop with a sweet tongue and low tolerance for civilian casualties. Now, armed with a band of anointed guardians, O'Mara brings his truth to the footsteps of Cohen's palace in hopes of restoring light to a city of darkness.
Quality film here, it puts a new spin on the perspective of movies containing organized crime. For starters, the culprit, Cohen is present throughout the script, but his sinister reign doesn't overshadow the film's true intent. What's this about a true intent? Well, the film's main purpose is to show just how far outside the law a good cop must go to bring Heaven to Hell without losing his own soul in the process. Josh Brolin really brings some gruff to O'Mara's character, who is torn between being a loving man to his wife and a dedicated servant to Lady Justice.
And... of course you know Gosling is bringing his A-game to the table draped in a suit that's magnetic with the ladies in the role of Jerry Wooters. Jerry is one of the few people keeping O'Mara from going full on commando in his unyielding assault on Cohen's enterprise. A lot of films today fail to provide any concrete insight into the wing-men or costars' character, but this film put forth the effort to give you a snapshot of all those who support O'Mara in his conflict. Case in point, Harris(Mackie), an officer that loves knives and hates drugs, plus Ribisi(Keeler), an expert in intelligence with a loving family of his own.
As far as things go for Cohen, this is one guy you wouldn't want to cross unless you were looking for a one way ticket to misery. Penn paints a ruthless man who would shoot his own mother to quench his insatiable thirst for power. We can only imagine that the real Cohen was even more of a ruff edge since his throne was built on prostitution, drugs and other illegal ventures. The makeup job they gave Penn to play this role was nothing short of spectacular. He's almost unrecognizable, but any true fan of Penn can recognize his sinister smirk anywhere.
Without giving too much of the film away, Unhinged Reviews recommends this title for lovers of old-school shoot-em ups and organized crime. Hats off to Ruben Fleischer for directing this quality film and sharing his artistic vision with the masses.
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