Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) 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 (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart. “Gangster Squad” is a colorful retelling of events surrounding the LAPD’s efforts to take back their nascent city from one of the most dangerous mafia bosses of all time.
This is a partially fictionalized story of notorious West Coast mob boss, Mickey Cohen and his war with a disparate group of cops who went undercover to regain law and order in LA.. The action is like an urban battle ground. The hand-picked cops are all former soldiers who are under orders from the Sheriff to “Wage guerilla warfare on Mickey Cohen”. They are tasked to shut down the mob’s sources of income.
Like many gangster movies there are plenty of killings with machine guns, hand grenades, knifings, strangling, and so on. In the end, Mickey goes to prison and the top cop retires with his wife and son. The acting was good but not brilliant, since the script was very predictable, which gave the actors a limited range to operate within.
The content went above and beyond Dove’s standards, but not as far as I expected given the nature of the story. All in all, it’s a cop vs. mob story with lots of pyrotechnics and a relatively weak story line. Dove cannot award this movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.