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GANGSTER SQUAD Finally Has A Trailer
Josh Brolin & Ryan Gosling vs. Sean Penn
The Gangster Squad finally has an official trailer, so I guess we can reasonably expect the flick to finally be coming out soon, at least this year. The movie’s release date has been moved a couple times, first because the Jason Statham Parker was being released the same day, and Warner Bros. didn’t wanna try to compete with that (not a good sign, if you ask me: if it’s not Lee Marvin as Parker, you got nothing to worry about. I refer you to exhibit A, Mel Gibson’s Payback). Then, because Warners wanted the public’s full attention on Liam José’s soon-to-be-favorite movie, the latest from star/director Ben Affleck, Argo, once again, The Gangster Squad got pushed back. And after this trailer, I’m starting to think they should just push it back indefinitely.
Best part of this trailer is how much of an actor Sean Penn is. Whether or not you consider him a great actor (I do, but I’d be open to counter-arguments), there’s no denying that he is a real actor, one who gets deep into character and doesn’t simply coast on his face and public persona. I mean, I love George Clooney, but how often do you see him play someone other than George Clooney? Brad Pitt doesn’t even play Jeff Goines roles anymore. So Penn here as L.A. kingpin Mickey Cohen comes off like De Niro’s scene-stealing performance as Al Capone in The Untouchables.
But that’s about where the excitement ends for me. I mean, after all the cool shots of guys in hats, smoking and racking shotguns, what are we really left with? A star-studded cast, to be sure, with Complex faves like Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, and Frank Grillo, who nearly stole The Grey right out from under Liam Neeson. So, yeah, okay, gettin’ psyched again!
But director Ruben Fleischer? Aw, man. Look, I enjoyed Zombieland a lot more than I thought I would, honest. Still does not change the fact that it is a full-on rip-off of Shaun of the Dead. I’m not one to get all territorial on stuff like that, y’know, I generally don’t care. But this case just seems too blatant for me to ignore (that, or I just am so fucking sick of zombies, I could eat your brain). And 30 Minutes or Less? I’ll follow Danny McBride a lot of places, but that wasn’t one of them. And if the box-office numbers are any indication, I’m not the only one who felt that way.
So I think what we’ve got with The Gangster Squad is something that is likely to be less than the sum of its parts. It wouldn’t be the first movie with a major-league cast, a pretty boss trailer, and a relatively unmined setting to end up sucking. Personally, I think Frank Darabont’s L.A. Noir is gonna prove far better, even if it doesn’t have Emma Stone being all foxy.