Friday, August 23, 2013

"Gangster Squad" with Nick Nolte and Sean Penn (2013)

Los Angeles of the late 1940’s and 1950’s was a time of rampant corruption among the police department, as they battled the local gangsters, who in turn, battled the gangsters from out of town trying to horn in on what was then known in Loss Angeles as the “combination.” Mickey Cohen inherited the position of leading the pack after his predecessor met an untimely passing.

Long the subject of movies and books; some non-fiction, some fiction; the story of Mickey Cohen, and the Police department he fought, have both became legends which will outlive time itself. Movies such as “L.A. Confidential”, and “Mulholland Drive” both set the bar high for examples of the better films about Los Angeles during this period. And this film lives up to those in respect to facts and settings. The set designs, as well as the costumes, are all perfect, giving a feel of authenticity to the whole film.

Sean Penn and Nick Nolte are both believable in their respective roles as the gangster who knows  no rules, and the Chief of Police who is of the same mind, only on the opposite side of the law as the notorious gangster. As hey battle wits, and exchange gunfire, there is a begrudging respect built out of their mortal combat, but still, there can be only one winner in this winner take all drama based on true events. Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a script by Will Beal, this film will have you riveted to your seat from beginning to end.

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