Friday, January 18, 2013

5 Reasons to watch Gangster Squad

I went to see Gangster Squad with mediocre expectations, and that turned out to be a good thing. If I had been salivating to see it, I would have been as disappointed as the time I went to the The Musketeer. There's a simple equation for this, my friends:

Mediocre Movie + High Expectations = Shitty movie
Mediocre Movie + Low Expectations = GREAT MOVIE!
Shit Movie +Low Expectation = Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Taking this into consideration, there are still some very valid reasons to look forward to seeing Gangster Squad. In no particular order:

1 - You think all tough guys should talk like Michael Jackson!
Ryan Gosling's character, Sgt. Jerry Wooters, is this troubled ex-military dude who has apparently seen his share of death and violence and is now bitter about it. And he sort of sounds the way you might imagine a baby squirrel would sound if you woke up as a cartoon filled with talking animals. Now, I don't know about you, but I like my tough guys to be gritty or deep voiced or at least smart-assy. But, if you like a tough guy that sounds like a soft-spoken kindergarten girl then you are in luck!

This is what it sounds like when the doves cry!
2 - You've wondered where the hell John Woo got to
You know what I miss? Slo-mo for no-reaso. You know that easy button from Staples? Screw that thing! I would take a slow motion button any day of the week! Exploding Christmas ornaments, Josh Brolin walking away from an unimportant conversation, Sean Penn walking around a Christmas tree, all of these would be slo-moed by yours truly. Hmmm, why didn't they slo-mo Emma Stone's side boob shot???

3 - You want your big brother instincts to kick in!
Emma Stone is gorgeous. We all know it. But, she's girl next door gorgeous. She's the girl you wish lived next door so you could watch her tan in the back yard instead of Mrs. Gimpercrook, my current neighbor, who I'm sure was an extra for Harry from Harry and the Hendersons.

What she is NOT is vampy or trashy. And so, when she was all glammed up like Patrick Swayze in Too Wong Foo... I felt my protective instincts kick in. I wasn't drooling inappropriately or anything. Instead, when she was lying in bed with girly-voiced Ryan Gosling I just wanted to run up and drape a robe around her. And punch Ryan Gosling in the face. "Get your hands off my sister, Squirrel!"

I like your voice. But, my big brother is
going to beat your ass if you deflower me.

4 - You love when one guy is trying for an Oscar
Sean Penn is a great actor. Great. You can tell how great he is when you see him acting next to that guy who  was the second Terminator. Is that Peter Weller? No, that doesn't sound right. Max Headroom? I'll get it in a second.

Mr. Oscar was working his whole face, his whole body, his whole being. Maybe he thought he could win World's Greatest Actor. Maybe he can't dial it back, even a little bit, even a tad. That's fine. Don't betray your acting ethics, Penn. "You're gonna be beggin' for a bullet before this is over." Quality, Mr. Penn. High quality.

5 - You love when the good guy trounces the bad guy, even when he shouldn't be able to.
What is this, Snow White and the Huntsman? No one ever told us that Josh Brolin's character, Sgt. John O'Mara, could fight. No one told us he was a boxer. Sean Penn's character, Mickey Cohen, on the other hand, is all about boxing. He was an amazing boxer. Fights all the time. Then, instead of just arresting this asshole, O'Mara decides it would be a blast to do a little boxing. "Hey, I know you've killed some of my buddies, sold girls into slavery, and I know I don't really have any backup over here, but I think it would be a great idea if we fight like 6th graders on the playground." First off...

WAIT! That Terminator guy's name is Robert Patrick! Phew. I knew I'd get it. Didn't he played Agent Dipstick or something on the X-Files?  Anyway, he's no Sean Penn.

Say, that's a nice bike.

Where was I?

I don't remember. I think I was saying that Gangster Squad was an awesome movie if you like Michael Jackson's voice, miss John Woo, like being an older brother, like over-acting, and you really like when the good guy whips ass beyond all sense! So, what are you waiting for? Go see it! Go see it right now!

Either that, or go watch Battleship.

Got a different opinion? I'd love to hear it!


  1. I laughed a lot. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

    My biggest complaint was that it was predictable. The moment that the guy on the team who died came on screen and was introduced - I leaned over to my friend and said, "bet you he's the one who dies." And I was unequivocally CORRECT.

  2. Lorma, you mean the second he said something like, "I want to make a better world for my son."?? Yeah, he was destined to be dead. Tragically.

  3. YUP. Josh Brolin said, "are you sure you're in? You've got the most to lose. No one else has a family." (Cuz I guess his own pregnant wife didn't count.) And I thought, "yeah, he does have the most to lose - AND HE WILL."

    I hated the fist fight at the end as well. That was the moment that my patience with the overall testosterone level of the film wore off.

    Loved Giovanni Ribisi's character. Strongest work in the film.

    All this being said, I really enjoyed it. Compared to Django, which I thought was overrated, I had a good time at the theatre. :)

    Also, this is old, but it's a reference point for deconstructing Gosling:

  4. Gangster Squad looks the part, but it's so superficial it practically evaporates before our eyes.