Gangster Squad (2013)

I’m reuploading this because… yep. I managed to delete this post. Thankfully, I had a back-up version. Go me!

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I’ve found it! A love story in a film that doesn’t make me sick. Though that was almost impossible considering Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling1 have chemistry we saw in Crazy, Stupid, Love that cannot fail. A lot of things fail in this film, but never a scene between them.

Gangster Squad is pretty and entertaining – but there’s not much to it. The good part is that the film doesn’t aim to be anything else, merely a few hours of good fun. The film offers many one-liners, some of them better than others (and honest to god, I’ll take the clichés if they provide a few laughs). It doesn’t get more sophisticated than Gosling asking his mate who’s the tomato upon spotting his future lover in a floor–length red dress. It becomes clear – painfully so – that Los Angeles is the city of angels and Josh Brolin delivers the most memorable line in the film: “You lose everything, you win the war – you’re a hero. You lose everything, you lose the war – you’re just a fool.”

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Did you know that there was a car company that tested their cars to find parts that were too good for the car – since there’s no point having every other part of a car rust for ten years before the screws give in? The screws were too good for the car so they swapped them for cheaper ones. I kinda got the feeling Gangster Squad could’ve done the same. Brolin and Sean Penn put on a miraculously good performance, much too good for the script. Gosling and Stone all the same, even if Penn blows everyone out of the water with his stellar gangster performance.

There are a few very nice explosions, scenes that grab your full attention, family scenes, sex scenes and a lot of violence. Truth be told, the excessive violence becomes boring nearing the end. And yet, the entire flick moves at a good pace in a cozy, 1940–ish setting with the right, atmospheric music. Everything is exaggerated and heightened with clear distinction between the good and the bad people – just like in a cartoon.

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An excellent film doesn’t give you the opportunity to mess around with your blog layout while watching it but I got the feeling Gangster Squad wasn’t meant to be one. It’s good fun and no regrets – unless you’re looking for the next Godfather. In which case, skip this one and have a Godfather marathon.

And before you ask, yep, I’ve made it my mission to see as many Gosling films as possible during my autumn break. Can’t help it – I adore the guy.

6 responses to “Gangster Squad (2013)

  1. I couldn’t stand Gosling’s voice in this. I kept thinking, “who’s idea was it to actually make Ryan Gosling un-attractive?” I didn’t think that was possible.

    • Oh yeah, he sounded like he’d been castrated. (I was worried for a second there.) But he looked so good that I couldn’t concentrate sound half of the time anyway.

  2. I’ve heard this is a bit shit. I think Gosling always sounds like that but he doesn’t usually speak much in his films!

  3. Really nice review! I enjoyed Gangster Squad as well. As a bit of a history buff of the 1940s, I thought it was entertaining. It’s a bit exaggerated and Sean Penns’ countless metaphors made me happily cringe a little, but it’s not the disaster movie I thought it would be when the trailer was first released. 🙂

    • I haven’t even seen the trailer, only the poster. And I liked the poster. Mostly since it had both Stone and Gosling… and suits. It’s definitely exaggarated, though, felt a bit cartoonish to me at times. 😀 And thank you so much!

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