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'Gangster Squad' starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn - trailer review

Gangster Squad Directed by: Ruben Fleischer Starring: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: September 7, 2012


Thoughts by TSR: This is a film that’s been on my radar for quite some time, but one I still needed to be sold on. I didn’t care for Zombieland, so I was skeptical about Ruben Fleischer jumping from that (and 30 Minutes or Less) to a true life LA cops and mobsters project. While this trailer doesn’t assuage those concerns, I’m still interested to see how it turns out.

I’m most hesitant to embrace Fleischer’s style. The digital lensing could make the film too glossy, and the stylization feels a bit much. It’s not all bad though. The shot of them shooting through the screen is an awesome, memorable visual.

The thing that pains me the most, however, is that Ryan Gosling looks like the weak link. He’s good in the silent moments – and wears the heck out of the period outfits – but he’s unconvincing in the moments of dialogue (“Doesn’t seem right that he should have so much while others have so little” is terrible). At least Emma Stone is on board, giving the pair an opportunity to flash some more of that electric Crazy, Stupid, Love. chemistry. The rest of the cast makes out better, but Penn is really the only one to stand out. It looks like he’ll go right to the edge of being hammy, so hopefully he reins it in just enough to not go over.

All these could prove non-issues once the film is released, but it’s not the great first impression I was counting on. Gangster Squad looks like an entertaining time at the movies. I’m just not convinced that it will reach the highs I was hoping for.

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