US / 113 minutes / color / Village Roadshow, Lin, Kevin McCormick, Warner Dir: Ruben Fleischer Pr: Dan Lin, Kevin McCormick, Michael Tadross Scr: Will Beall Story: Gangster Squad: Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles (2012) by Paul Lieberman Cine: Dion Beebe Cast: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Patrick, Michael Peña, Mireille Enos, Troy Garity, Holt McCallany, Sullivan Stapleton, James Carpinello, James Hèbert, Evan Jones, Josh Pence, John Aylward, Jack Conley, Jack McGee, Jon Polito, Yvette Tucker, Ambyr Childers.
The opening credits announce that this is based on a true story but, despite the occasional character being based with extraordinary looseness on a genuine historical personage and the LAPD indeed once having had a Gangster Squad (though founded in 1946 rather than 1949 and structurally nothing like this one), the movie is essentially an attempt to adapt the gangster movie into the style of sci-fi shootemups like The Terminator (1984) and its legion of successors. There are also thematic resemblances to pieces like Shichinin no Samurai (1954; vt Seven Samurai), The Magnificent Seven (1960) and The Dirty Dozen (1967), in that a small, off-the-books group of (effectively) guerrillas topples a mighty criminal enterprise.
Cohen’s moll Grace (Emma Stone) is open to persuasion to seek comfort elsewhere.
Gangster Mickey Cohen (Penn) has effectively taken over LA and its environs, with half the cops in his pocket, including some high-ranking officers as well as at least one judge, Judge Carter (Aylward). WWII veteran John O’Mara (Brolin), now an LAPD sergeant, spots one of Cohen’s men, Mitch Racine (Hèbert), inveigling a pretty newcomer to Hollywood (Childers) back to a hotel for a gang rape; O’Mara very violently busts the joint open and Continue reading