28.9 C
Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Gangster Squad – Film review by John Campbell

Latest News

Where does a lack of empathy lead us? 

Democracy, as a concept and a form of governance, was first introduced by the Greeks around 507 BC.

Other News

Suffolk Park pump track for Cavanbah

Kathy Gleeson, Suffolk Park When I first heard of, and supported, the pump track at the Linda Vidler Park in Suffolk...

Nurses call for an improved aged care sector

A ‘walk with nurses’ was held in Mullum last Friday, and aimed to highlight the concern aged care nurses have around fee structures, safety issues and staff training in order to properly care for our elderly.

Helping Our Kids, help our kids

The Lismore Samson Fitness Challenge kicks off tonight in Lismore with the express aim of raising much-needed funds for the Our Kids charity.

Police operation Billinudgel Nature Reserve

Gary Opit, Brunswick Heads On 22 February residents on Jones Road noticed a major police operation with officers from eight police...

Inflatable lifejacket self-service clinic for Ballina

An inflatable lifejacket self-service clinic will be held on Friday 19 March 2021 at Fishery Creek Boat Ramp, West Ballina.

Interview with Janet Swain

Janet Swain is 14. She’s in love with the tragic and brilliant cellist Jacquleine DuPré. But one day her mother arrives home with a bassoon.

It’s a shame to see a talented actress like Emma Stone cast in the role of trophy moll. At least she doesn’t need to get her gear off, although she does have a scene in the sack with Ryan Gosling, who is otherwise besotted with himself. We are in Los Angeles, 1949.

With coppers and judges in his pocket, the notorious crim Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the town with uncompromising savagery. Sergeant O’Mara (Josh Brolin) of the LAPD is assigned to take matters into his own hands and, working outside the law, bring Cohen down. He gathers an elite squad of badged killers – as Yul Brynner did in The Magnificent Seven (including one who, like James Coburn, is a specialist knife-thrower) – and from then on it is basically one stakeout and blitzkrieg after another.

The gold standard for the modern gangster flick remains Curtis Hanson’s LA Confidential (1997), its authenticity entrenched by the compromised motives of its flawed characters. O’Mara and his off-sider Wooters (Gosling) are unimpeachable and, sadly, Stone’s Grace is a paper-thin cut-out compared to Kim Basinger’s damaged call-girl.

Is it a trait of post-9/11 cinema that the mainstream will have no truck with nuance? I lost count of the homicides – they came twenty to the dozen. The pity is that the production values are of the highest order (a nocturnal car chase, shot from above, featuring swank Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles, is executed with the greatest technical skill), the art direction is stunning and the performances out of the top shelf, if in an over-stylised way.

The narrative hook is nigh impossible to free oneself from… but really, will we ever grow out of accepting the ‘might is right’ paradigm, that extreme violence is an unfailing best resort? And why do we lap it up simply because it is presented by celebrities gushing fake blood, with stunt doubles taking all their blows, and then squeal like stuck pigs when it happens on our streets in real life?

The movie is engaging only for its camp mindlessness.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A Lego load of fun on the Gold Coast

A place for water dragons to thrive was the theme of a construction competition at Southern Cross University (SCU) yesterday. The tricky part was making the build with Lego.

Kingscliff, trucks, and development – what’s the right outcome?

The debate over the movement of fill via the Tweed Coast Road and through Kingscliff to fill future development sites has been considered by residents, Tweed Shire Councillors, and staff at the last two planning meetings and a workshop in between.

Spring into Scavenge in Lismore this Saturday

Different, fun and rewarding are some of the words used to describe what's going to unfold in Lismore this weekend.

Van life

David Pettifer, Uki In reply to today’s article by the ABC Van Lifers I believe there is an opportunity for both sides to benefit. There is a...