Crime flick Gangster Squad hits theaters this Friday. The ensemble cast, which includes Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone and Sean Penn, tackles the story behind the LAPD’s war against Mickey Cohen. Below are five non-spoiley things to know before you buy your movie ticket.
The Past + Hollywood Glamour
Gangster Squad was shot digitally instead of with 35mm film. Although this doesn’t sound like a big deal, the new technology allows the colors to shine through and the film to feel more contemporary. A fair comparison may be Guy Ritchie’s recent takes on Sherlock Holmes. Viewers may find it easier to get invested in the story, since it doesn’t feel like they’re watching events from a distant past.
We’ve Been Here Before
The impressive cast helps sells this film. It’s no wonder the entire cast brings their “A” game, because they’ve all had experience working together. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone didn’t have to work hard to conjure up some romantic chemistry; they already did it in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Josh Brolin didn’t have to put a lot of effort into acting as Sean Penn’s chief enemy. The duo, who were childhood friends, worked together in Milk, where Penn portrayed the title character and Brolin the man who assassinated him.
The Untouchables > Public Enemies
According to Collider, which spent time with the cast on set, the actors preferred that the movie be compared to The Untouchables rather than to other period flicks like L.A. Confidential and Public Enemies. Although the film’s plot shares similarities with L.A. Confidential, this movie, like The Untouchables, is really about two people: Mickey Cohen (Penn) and Sgt. John O’Mara (Brolin).
Light on the Drama
Like most great gangster flicks, the drama in this Ruben Fleischer-directed film does not take center stage. You know who the bad guy is. You know who the good guy is supposed to be. Throughout the movie, the action is front and center. There are shootouts and car chases. Braggadocios one-liners are dispensed with indifference. The movie aims to define “cool” by giving you two tough-as-nails men and allowing you to choose whose side you are on.
Part 1.5 and 2.0?
The movie showing in theaters this Friday is different from the original. The film needed to be edited following the Aurora, Colorado movie shooting since it included a scene in which a shootout happens inside a movie theater. It’s unclear whether anything else was altered, but Fleischer insists that the removal of the scene, which was included in the first round of promotional trailers, didn’t negatively impact the movie in any way. As far as a sequel goes, however, producers have reportedly that if the flick is well-received by audiences, a follow-up could be in the works.