Last night we were lucky enough to see a preview screening of the much-anticipated Gangster Squad in London’s Leicester Square, and, well, it’s left quite an impression.
Don’t let the brooding looks of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone on the film’s poster fool you – though there is, of course, a bit of romance involved, this is first-and-foremost a bloody, violent and relentless gangster flick. And it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
This blockbuster has the most stellar cast we’ve seen for a while, with sensational performances from Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Giovanni Ribisi offset by the cheeky and engaging talent of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
LA mobster boss Mickey Cohen (Penn) has a hold on the city, and his violence and corruption is widely tolerated by the police in favour of a quiet life. That is until a hand-picked team of honest cops, headed by Sergeant John O’Mara (Brolin) take matters into their own hands.
Hearts leapt into mouths as soon as the film started, with Cohen seeing off a rival Chicago gangster. We don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say it involved the Hollywood sign, two 1940s cars and a lot of blood.
We’d love to tell you that the violence diminished from there, but we’d be lying through our teeth. We lost count of the amount of times we covered our shocked mouths, hid behind our hands or, admittedly, buried our entire faces into our boyfriends’ shoulders.
One particularly brutal scene saw some newly-blown-out brains cruelly juxtaposed with a beef burger frying on a barbecue. It put us right off our popcorn.
Unapologetic violence aside, the film itself (directed by Ruben Fleischer) is as beautiful as Ryan Gosling. Think smoke-filled rooms, dance halls, the sharpest suits in town and revealing dresses to make Angelina Jolie blush. It also has moments of absolute comedic brilliance, particularly from the less-than-conventional methods of the Gangster Squad.
And the cast entirely live up to their hype. Penn is the perfect villain, and his stand-off scenes with Brolin are impossible to take your eyes away from.
Admittedly we were always going to say Gosling was amazing. But trust us – Gosling was amazing. He deftly sweeps from cheeky cop, to caring lover, emotional wreck, and eventually, hero.
Did we mention he’s also totally beautiful?
- Gangster Squad (15) hits cinemas nationwide from tomorrow, January 10.