Director Ruben Fleischer has successfully brought mafia movies back to the big screen with Gangster Squad. It is your traditional mafia movie, I would say classic, but ‘classic’ would be The Godfather trilogy and ‘stereotypical’ could be misinterpreted as not worth watching. Whilst there are no horse heads to be found in beds, there is an adequate amount of gun battle and shooting that you would expect to find in this genre of film.
Set in 1940s Los Angeles where former boxer, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), has most of the city in the palm of his hand; with public figures and a large proportion of the police department being bribed in his favour.
Based on a true story, this movie follows a small group of LAPDs that form a secret unit self-titled the ‘Gangster Squad’ which set out to bring down the infamous mafia boss Cohen; intercepting drug transfers, tearing down his establishments and burning his money.
Sergeant John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) is put in charge of forming this elite group, though it is his wife who handpicked the recruits to form an A-team of specialists made up of Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), detectives Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), Navidad Ramirez (Michael Peña) and Max Kennard (Robert Patrick). The original ending was altered after the 2012 Aurora shootings, this gun filled battle now ends in an old-fashioned fist fight, taking Cohen back to his roots.
If you enjoyed Public Enemies, then you are likely to enjoy this movie.