With all the buzz coming out about the Academy Award nominations, it may get you in the mood to go to the movies this weekend. Perhaps instead of seeing Les Miserables for the 50th time (wait, just me?), you can catch a new release, like Gangster Squad, which seems like a surefire hit since it features Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, hmmm, did I mention Ryan Gosling?
Few things are worse on a Friday night than spending your hard-earned cash to watch that sultry dude kick ass on the big screen. For a little background, the movie's about the LAPD's violent struggle to keep mafia-type guys out of LA in the '40s and '50s. But it's very loosely based on what actually happened during this time period.
Anyway, you may be too high-minded and refined to have Gosling alone sway you to see this flick. (We can't be friends.) So here's what some of the "best" critics are saying about Gangster Squad.
Claudia Puig, USA Today:
While there is little to recommend this movie -- and the excessive gun violence could put viewers off -- it does evoke a glamorous era, with close attention paid to period costumes, architecture and set design.
A.O. Scott, The New York Times:
Set in a late-’40s Los Angeles painted in cartoon colors rather than noir shadows, it is a hectic jumble of fedoras and zoot suits, stockings and cigarettes, and red femme-fatale dresses. The accessories of choice are guns of various calibers and styles, deployed to drown out -- or perhaps to emphasize -- knucklehead dialogue and inept storytelling.
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times:
When the gun smoke clears, the body count is finished and the blood is mopped up, "Gangster Squad" is little more than another Hollywood wannabe overshadowed by the legacy of "L.A. Confidential," which not only nailed the milieu beautifully but also nabbed a couple of Oscars along with the bad guys back in the day.
Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com:
What message do I discern beneath the snazzy fedoras, Italianate villas and Latin-jazz supper-club numbers? Or the ultraviolent concluding shootout that rips off everything from “The Untouchables” to “Bonnie and Clyde” to “Dirty Harry” to various other things I didn’t bother to identify? A complete whitewashing of one of the most vicious and racist paramilitary organizations in American history: the Los Angeles Police Department.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:
This movie made my ears hurt. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and James Ellroy could have turned this pulp into insinuating jazz. What's here is a cartoonish bore.
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly:
Yet beneath the luster of its costumes and set design, Gangster Squad is all guns-blazing recklessness and tinny-bloody set pieces. It's like L.A. Confidential remade as a mediocre Jason Statham film. It keeps going chica bang bang.
Oof. I guess, in the end, it really doesn't matter what the critics say, does it? Because you're probably going to go see it for the violence and/or eye candy. Original plots and historical accuracy, be damned!
Anyway, hey girl, cuddle up with a blanket, sit by the fire, open that bottle of wine, grab your Gosling cardboard cut-out, and watch the trailer!
Are you going to see Gangster Squad this weekend? Did these bad reviews dissuade you if you were planning on it?
Image via GangsterSquad.WarnerBros.com