Considering that the film was bumped around from September to January due to a national tragedy, it would be nice to feel a little sorry for Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad. The period film, which casts Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling as cops going against Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) for control of Los Angeles, has a great cast and period setting. On top of that, The Untouchables is a great film and it wouldn’t be the worst thing to see more films like it. And yet, Gangster Squad is a total miss. My review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.
It’s a bit disappointing that Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad can live in such a rich setting and still feel so light. As seen through a grand tradition of films dating back over 70 years, post-war Los Angeles was boozy, hedonistic, dangerous, and dark. Gangster Squad waters down this colorful world, and simply coasts on being an amusing, frivolous action film. There’s nothing wrong with that, and with a strong cast at his disposal, Fleischer finds a nice blend between the style he brought to Zombieland and the spirit of the time period. Unfortunately, a thin plot and even thinner characters make Gangster Squad as intense as a drive-by shooting and just as fleeting.
While other DC movies have loosely based their arcs on comic books, the inspiration is still there. Batman Begins draws on Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight pulls from The Long Halloween, and The Dark Knight Rises was influenced by No Man’s Land. Earlier this month, we reported the rumor that the villain of the Justice League movie would be Darkseid, a foe certainly worthy of a superhero team-up. Today, we may have learned where screenwriter Will Beale (Gangster Squad) is looking for his screenplay.
Hit the jump for more. Justice League is due out in 2015.