Fala and I went to see Gangster Squad today.
It was a bit more graphic than I expected (although I’m not sure what I was expecting from a movie called Gangster Squad), but it was an entertaining, decently-made movie. It felt very much like a film right out of another era — straightforward, comfortably formulaic, and not terribly reflexive. It was a straight-up old school sort of film, as if they’d found the long-lost script for some 50s crime thriller and simply polished it up for contemporary tastes (with more violence and more nudity, obviously). This meant a lot of stylish retro banter and gorgeous sets and costumes, but it did leave me wondering where to draw the line between paying homage to another era and glorifying the more suspect aspects of that time. There were some nice little moments here and there, though, and everyone in it was pretty great, especially Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (who may have gotten his break playing nice but might just make his career playing charming-but-dangerous). It may not have done anything too innovative with the material, but it knew exactly what sort of film it was trying to be, and, as such, succeeded as a well-executed example of its genre (pun intended).