Michael C here to kick off the movie year with my first review of 2013 for a movie I noticed had slipped through the cracks here at the Film Experience in the rush of Oscar Nomination Fever. But surely 2013 will get better than this!
Gangster Squad is a film haunted by the ghosts of its superior cinematic ancestors. Some films do gain resonance from evoking earlier titles in their genre but Ruben Fleischer’s crime saga is such a creative void that it can’t wrestle the audience’s attention away from the specters of film noir past. So much more rewarding to occupy one’s mind with fond memories of Chinatown, than to watch characters we don’t care about exchange gunfire in action scenes we can’t follow for reasons not worth understanding.
The most obvious film intruding on Gangster Squad (2013) is The Untouchables (1987) - at times the new film borders on a beat-for-beat retelling of the earlier story with Al Copen switched out for Mickey Cohen... [more]