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Old 01-22-2013, 11:49 AM
Gangster Squad - 200 words

If you thinking about it, fighting fire with fire literally makes no sense. You just get a bigger fire. Maybe thatís the point of the phrase? Whatever the case, fire versus fire makes for big screen sparks in Gangster Squad, director Ruben Fleischerís ode to old Hollywood, both on film and off. Itís entertaining stuff, even if it only scratches at the surface of everything it wants to be. Itís a mob movie that reminds you of better mob movies (The Untouchables particularly keeps coming to mind). Itís noir for the training wheel crowd. But ultimately, itís fun and entertaining.

Sean Penn is all fire and brimstone as made-man Mickey Cohen, attempting to take over LA from the bottom up. Heís a bit cartoonish, maybe too much Big Boy Caprice and not enough Al Capone. But it fits the neon lit, bullet-ridden world being created here. Itís all more Dick Tracy than Godfather and it wears this difference proudly.

Most lost in their roles are Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Both feel like kids playing dress up. Theyíre good actors and have even been great on screen together, but this time theyíre just not right for their parts. Minor complaint.
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