Category Archives: Quick Reviews

Quick reviews for films that do not have full reviews.

GANGSTER SQUAD (2013)

TMG Scale 7.0    MPAA Rating: R  
Starring Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi, Nick Nolte …and on screen, Sean Penn

TMG refuses to say Sean Penn “starred” in this film. Penn plays an arrogant and untalented Los Angeles thug, mob boss who belittles everyone who disagrees with him. In other words, Penn plays himself.  But all in all, this is a fair attempt at a gangster movie. That’s it.  I had some fun and enjoyed the film from beginning to end. It is hard to ask for much more from a gangster film set in 1949.

Ryan Gosling is the star who makes this movie tick. His sex appeal is almost matched by femme fatale, Emma Stone. TMG is straighter than an arrow but admits he would be hard pressed to decide which one to take to dinner if he had a choice. They both pack lots of heat.

If you want to ban real assault guns (automatic machine guns)  and real high capacity clips (30 or more), this film is the primmer for you and TMG is with you. Banning semi automatic guns and 20 round clips from your average sport .223 …well you are just uninformed or your name is Piers Morgan…but I repeat myself. Okay, back to the film…

Brolin does a decent job of playing a rebel, Elliot Ness type cop brought in by ramrod Police Chief Nick Nolte to clean up LA and rid the city of Sean Penn—so I bought into the plot from the get go. One of  Broiln’s “untouchables” is Ribisi—-one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. The guy is such an impressive actor and needs more screen time and leading roles.

The film lacks realism and has more of a “Dick Tracy” feel than a true crime movie. The script is charming but not overly witty. The special effects and set were very bad from the bullet holes to the cars (always showroom clean). But all in all, I think most will enjoy the film after the opening scene with two cars ripping a guy literally in half—not a spoiler, just a fair warning. It is totally unrealistic but gory nonetheless.

No Oscar nods here next year but I bet Penn will speak somewhere this week about the terrible gun violence in America—a product he and Hollywood promote gratuitously. Gangster Squad could be a good date film if your date has their conceal and carry, swoons at Ryan Gosling or Emma Stone (count me in on all three) and does not mind lots of conjured up fiction, violence and blood in a film that has no motive but to make money.  Sandra Fluke would be a good date bet.