Friday, January 11, 2013
In Theaters: GANGSTER SQUAD (2013)
(US - 2013)
Directed by Ruben Fleischer. Written by Will Beall. Cast: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Pena, Mireille Enos, Sullivan Stapleton, Holt McCallany, Troy Garity, Jon Polito, Jack McGee, John Aylward, Josh Pence. (R, 111 mins)
Delayed by several months for reshoots after removing a sequence involving a shootout in a movie theater out of respect for the victims of the Aurora, CO shootings at a midnight showing of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES last summer, GANGSTER SQUAD finds itself in the big-studio dumping ground of early January. Adapted from Paul Lieberman's non-fiction chronicle of covert cops taking on the mob in post-war L.A., the film, written by Will Beale (CASTLE), and directed by Ruben Fleischer (ZOMBIELAND), is sufficiently entertaining in a brainless kind of way, but it feels lacking, like it could've--and should've--been more. Fleischer, with two comedies to his credit (he also made 10 MINUTES OR LESS), might not have been the best choice to direct, as the film has a sometimes awkward time straddling the line between serious and camp and never coming down on either side. It threatens to become a spoof on several occasions, and not all of the actors seem to be on the same page with what the project should be.