Tag Archives: Ryan Gosling

Review: Gangster Squad

With a stellar ensemble cast and a director with a burgeoning talent, Gangster Squad should have been an instant hit which rivalled previous contemporary successes of the genre such as The Untouchables.

gangster squad

Although a completely different film, Director Ruben Fleischer already had Zombieland under his belt, and all he really had to do was transfer the colourful, creative, high-style visual mastery he displayed in that ‘zom-com’ to a story which was already packaged and ready to be delivered due to the rich source material.

But somewhere, somehow, something went wrong. Gangster Squad is a flat-toned, soulless film. With a cast including Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Peña, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin playing rich characters with a powerful true story to tell, it was a shame to see them have to struggle through a somehow bland vision of a post-prohibition era Los Angeles.

Even Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen struggles to strain anything out of the weak material and ends up portraying a larger-than-life comic book character who just snarls his way through the film.

The actors do their best with their underdeveloped characters, but it is the world created around them which packs less power than an inflatable Tommy gun.



Where has Ryan Phillippe Gone?

He showed us he can roll with the best of them in Crash, and his performance in The Way of the Gun was somehow even more captivating than Benicio Del Toro’s. Also, let us not forget the valuable contributions he made to the greatest decade-long period of teen films, starring in Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer.fhd997YDS_Ryan_Phillippe_001

But over the past few years, apart from TV series Damages, he’s featuring in critically panned and generally very un-enjoyable releases such Franklyn.

Is there no room in the film world for very watchable talent such as Mr Phillippe anymore? It’s not as if he’s lacking in versatility or ever been stuck in a typecast for too long. With his looks, talent and previous contributions, I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be enjoying the same success and acclaim as the likes of Tom Hardy or Ryan Gosling.