Thursday, June 20, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Gangster Squad

Ruben Fleischer, director of such cinematic masterpieces as 30 Minutes or Less, Zombieland, and the critically acclaimed, Rob and Big, (note the biting sarcasm)brings us his over the top, well exaggerated, telling of legendary mobster Bugsy Seigel’s prodigy, Mickey Cohen and the above the law Dragnet force that attempted to take him down before he claimed all of LA for his own.   Think Untouchables for the next generation minus all the character depth, suspense, well written story, and authenticity.  Fleischer tries so hard to create the look and feel of the time period that it comes off less like a serious action flick and more like a grown up reboot of Dick Tracy.    Although the cast provides some good performances, their characters never really evolve enough for the audience to connect with or care about.   Penn tries to play Cohen Ala DeNiro as Capone and fails miserably; his portrayal is unconvincing and almost goofy.   Brolin is stoic, mechanical, and two dimensional, which seem to be the signatures of all of his performances. His attempt to display the struggle between his obsession with capturing Cohen and living a normal life with his pregnant wife plays awkwardly and never feels genuine.   The remaining cast quickly becomes cartoonish and their dialogue is so silly at points it’s laughable. The action is decent enough, unrealistic, but exciting.  I wanted to like this film, I truly did, but as my mother in law used to say, “Don't let your wants hurt you.”  1 out of 5 Kernels; this flick had potential, but never reached it, and that is a true crime.  

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