In 1946 the Los Angeles Police Department created a special unit to rid LA of its criminal elements. It eventually became known as the Organized Crime Intelligence Division. In 2013 film director Ruben Fleischer made a film loosely inspired by events of the time, Gangster Squad. The screenplay was written by Will Beall, which was based on the novel Tales from the Gangster Squad by Paul Lieberman, and concentrates on one of LA’s notorious gangsters Meyer Harris Cohen known as Mickey Cohen to both his friends and his enemy’s. Cohen was part of the Jewish Mafia and according to Fleisher’s movie ran all the rackets in Los Angeles, building up an immense criminal empire.
Josh Brolin plays the square chinned honest cop Sergeant John O’Mara, who has a pregnant wife and is the tough WW2 ex special operations operative who is tasked with setting up the squad by Nick Nolte’s gruff Chief Parker. The group is to work outside the law with no police support or badges with Parker stating that he does not want to see any arrests just the permanent demise of Mickey Cohen (a manic Sean Penn) and his henchmen! Other members of the squad are the good looking playboy Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), the wiretap expert Conwell Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), street cop Lieutenant Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), sharpshooter Max Kennard (Robert Patrick) and his Hispanic partner Christmas Ramirez (Michael Pena).
Yes, it is a cliché of all the gangster films you have ever seen albeit one with a modern sheen. Yes, the action is very much over the top, but in my opinion these make an enjoyable watch, even if your not sure if it’s a film noir or a police procedural – but does it really matter - smart suits, flash cars and a femme fatale in the shape of Emma Stone what more do you want, it even references the Blues Brothers (1980). Pretty to look at with its late forties period detail, it’s a movie that does not beat about the bush, straight to the point, forget subtlety.
|The femme fatale.|