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Gangster Squad

You would think with all the exploding tommy guns, squealing period car tires, explosions and gorgeous damsels in distress that GANGSTER SQUAD would nearly jump off the screen. So why doesn't it quite come together into a great movie?

Josh Brolin is strong as Sgt O'Mara, a tough LA detective asked by Chief Parker (gruff Nick Nolte, who has almost become a caricature of himself) to create a secret Gangster Squad to fight the crime wave swallowing LA in 1949.

This crime surge is the sole responsibility of Mickey Cohen, played by Sean Penn in a brutally tough performance that is so merciless it becomes rather one note.

Brolin's squad is first rate with Ryan Gosling as the cop in love with Mickey's girl (Emma Stone), Robert Patrick is the veteran with amazing gunplay skills and Michael Pena is the youngest member, tagging along to be part of the group.

It's violent, it's never boring, but its never that involving either and so very predictable.

I expected a lot more from director Ruben Fleischer after his excellent debut with "Zombieland" and while there are occasional bursts of the energy and creativity that infused that film, Gangster Squad is all too familiar.

Nice period details. We'll give it a C.

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