Gangster Squad an uninspired mess

01:51, Jan 19 2013
Gangster Squad
WORN OUT: Gangster Squad is uninspired, derivative and utterly under-developed.

GANGSTER SQUAD (R16) (113 min) 

Directed by Ruben Fleischer. Starring Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling.

D'oh. This is how you waste a great premise, and an even better cast. Gangster Squad hits the screen pretty much DOA. With Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Nick Nolte to play with, along with the proven chemistry of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, you'd think that maybe director Ruben Fleischer and his producers could have waited until they had a decent script before they rolled their digital cameras.

But no, all we have here are cardboard cutout characters, shots stolen directly from other, better movies, and the sort of dialogue I haven't heard since I last pulled the string on the back of an Action Man doll. Gangster Squad has an acceptable level of film-making competence behind it - the actors don't actually trip over the furniture - but the film remains uninspired, derivative, written like a film-school exercise, and utterly under-developed. There's a dozen better gangster movies than this in your video shop sale bin right now. So why would you bother?


The Dominion Post