Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and — if he has his way — every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop… except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara and Jerry Wooters who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.
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It's 1949 Los Angeles, and gangster Mickey Cohen has moved in, with the intention of controlling all criminal activity in the city. He has bought local judges and police, and no one is willing to cross him or testify against him. Everyone except Sergeant John O'Mara, a former World War II soldier, whose goal is to settle with his family in a peaceful Los Angeles. Police Chief William Parker decides to form a special unit whose mission is to take down Cohen, and chooses O'Mara to lead the unit. O'Mara chooses 4 cops and asks another cop and vet, Jerry Wooters to join him but Wooters is not interested. But when he witnesses the murder of a young boy by Cohen's people, he joins them, and they decide to take apart Cohen's organization. Cohen wonders if a rival is going after him, but eventually he realizes it's the cops.
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Gangster Squad is entertaining as hell. It's also a total mess. Seriously, it's like watching a live-action cartoon with an A-list cast trying so hard to make this dialogue credible, but there's nothing they can do. It's a cartoon. Over the top, hammy dialogue, crazy shootouts with no consequence. If you don't shut your brain off within the first 20 minutes of this movie then you're doing something wrong. It's a shame because the plot is based off of the real life gangster Mickey Cohen who was the ruler of LA for a time, and the source material has endless potential. But the faster you can accept that that's not the kind of movie this is, the quicker you can appreciate it for its camp value. nnSome things that stand out are Sean Penn's ridiculously over the top performance. Not that you can fault him for it. The part is written as a stereotypical gangster with temper issues and the script throws him these cheesy one-liners that wouldn't sound authentic coming from anyone's mouth. But to his credit, he's fun to watch. As is Brolin who plays the leader of the squad, and probably the most
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