Gangster Squad takes place in the twenties as Hollywood is coming into its own as the home of the film industry. Sean Penn plays Mickey Cohen the largest mogul in the movie town.
He is the East Coast boy who is an ex boxer and becomes the father figure, with his dirty hands in everything from judges to drugs to the police to politicians to prostitution.
This alone might sound a little cliché, but then toss in the fact that the basis of the film is a few good cops that are going to help stomp out Cohen and you get one big fat cliché.
The good news is that while the story may be a bit bland, it combines some respectable and amazing actors to take down Cohen and this is what makes it worth watching.
Members of the ‘good guy’ squad include Josh Brolin who plays Sergeant John O’Mara, who believes that you shoot first and figure out a good story later. His brutal aim and methods put him on par with the criminals he chases for most of the film and of course raises the haunting question of who the real bad guys are in the film.
The Gangster Squad is rounded up by Sergeant Jerry Wooters who is played by veritable eye candy Ryan Gosling. He has no interest in joining the squad, until he meets Grace Faraday the moll at Cohen’s side. Played by Emma Stone, this femme fetale is smoking and Gosling wants a bit of it for himself.
The rest of the cast is rounded out by a list of known and unknown names, but these four characters are the ones to watch as they tell a story of good versus evil and how even the good can be turned to the dark side if they play the game long enough.