Despite an amazing cast which is packed to the rafters with Hollywood’s finest, from up and comers to screen legends, Ruben Fleischer‘s first dip into drama, with his 40’s set crime pic Gangster Squad, is having some what of a troubling time. Release dates have been pushed forwards and backwards to the point where it is now without one. However, with the release of this sparkling new trailer that may change.
Gangster Squad is set in Los Angeles in the late 1940’s where mob boss Mickey Cohen (played here by Sean Penn) has a hand in all the dirty business of the town: narcotics, prostitutes, gambling, you name it. Hell bent on bringing him to justice, the Los Angeles Police Department sets up a special task force led by Josh Brolin‘s John O’Mara and Ryan Gosling‘s Jerry Wooters that is dedicated to taking Cohen’s operation out.
The trailer oozes style. Visually it’s incredibly impressive, the period is very nicely captured in what appear to be intricately detailed sets and costume design, the colours are nicely saturated into a style that fits the hue of the period. As said, the cast is amazing and they all seem to be doing a bang up job. Josh Brolin and Sean Penn in particular stand out but elsewhere there is the aforementioned Ryan Gosling as well as Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie and Giovanni Ribisi. All good so far.
However, it is very hard to get a sense on the tone of it all. Of course we’ll reserve judgement until we see the finished product but from this fairly lengthy preview it is difficult to tell whether Fleischer is playing straight or constructing a pastiche, or worse: muddling the two together. There is also a hint of the irritating Zack Snyder/Guy Ritchie visual tick of doing slow motion then ultra fast, which anachronistically sticks out in a really bad way.
I do hope that in the end this won’t boil down to being L.A. Confidential for the Zack Snyder crowd because that would be really depressing. The story is fascinating and the cast is endlessly talented, it is also great to see Fleischer stepping out of the comedy world and doing something which is not exactly his comfort zone.
We’ll see how Gangster Squad turns out when it hits theatres, which I reckon could be around the fall. The UK release date is November 9th, so use that as a rough estimate for now but that could change depending on what happens stateside.
Check out the trailer and the synopsis below.
Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and–if he has his way–every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop…except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart. “Gangster Squad” is a colorful retelling of events surrounding the LAPD’s efforts to take back their nascent city from one of the most dangerous mafia bosses of all time.
Source: The Playlist