1. Looks like the film will cover much the same ground as Ellroy did in LA CONFIDENTIAL, namely the epic battle between rogue members of the LAPD and Mickey Cohen's criminal empire. In Curtis Hanson's adaptation of Ellroy's novel, the Cohen storyline provides a framework for a larger story but Cohen himself is a minor character (if memory serves he only has a line or two of dialog). GANGSTER SQUAD looks like it will move Cohen to the center of things, with Sean Penn chewing the scenery in badass mobster-mode.
2. Subtle it ain't. GANGSTER SQUAD was helmed by ZOMBIELAND director Ruben Fleischer, and on the basis of the trailer (which could be deceiving, but sure feels like it's not) this movie will be more action flick than gritty crime drama. Again, I'm only talking about the trailer, but what is being sold here is not a noir, but something more akin to a hardboiled comic book. Lots of guns, lots of pumped up sound effects of walloping punches and spraying machine guns. So if you want another LA CONFIDENTIAL, this probably won't be it. But we don't need some knockoff of that great movie, anyway. If this is a well-made over-the-top action movie with a bunch of great actors spitting out hardboiled dialog in between gunfights, I'll walk out of the theater a happy man. I'm open to something else, but that's what I'm expecting from the trailer.
Opens September 7th.
Check out the trailer here.