‘Gangster Squad’ International Trailer: LAPD Takes Down Sean Penn

Published 3 years ago by

Gangster Squad is described as “a colorful retelling of events” surrounding the LAPD’s efforts to take down Brooklyn-born, “Jewish Mafia” king Meyer Harris ‘Mickey’ Cohen (Oscar-winner Sean Penn) during the 1940s. The film was scripted by former LA cop Will Beall (who’s writing Justice League) and directed by Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland fame (he also helmed the forgettable 30 Minutes or Less).

The domestic Gangster Squad trailer teased Penn’s scenery-chewing as Cohen, along with the talented cast of actors playing the members of the titular, off-the-book squad (Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, etc.). Today, we have a shorter international trailer that features some previously-unseen footage – but mostly leaves the same impression as its U.S. counterpart (which is good, for us).

Fleischer’s Gangster Squad resembles Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables in many respects, including: a story that offers a hard-boiled retelling of real-life events; a larger-than-life portrait of an infamous crime boss, as played by a lauded thespian (Penn as Cohen in Gangster Squad, Robert De Niro as Al Capone in Untouchables) – and, a cast with seasoned veterans and rising stars, whose characters struggle to uphold the law – even as they threaten to cross the line between righteous cop and hardened criminal.

That’s to say: Gangster Squad could become the definitive crime tale for younger moviegoers that Untouchables is for an older generation, as it appears to feature a similar approach to storytelling (but more modern style and production values). Whether or not younger and older people will agree on the quality of Gangster Squad, well, that’s another matter.

gangster squad sean penn Gangster Squad International Trailer: LAPD Takes Down Sean Penn

Sean Penn in 'Gangster Squad'

Gangster Squad could have relatively broad appeal at the box office. People who are interested foremost in some flash and bang (stylized action, Gosling mackin’ on Emma Stone) should get their money’s worth, while other folk will be intrigued to see what actors such as Penn, Brolin, and Nick Nolte bring to the familiar cops-and-crooks proceedings.

Speaking of which: all eyes are going to be on Beall’s Gangster Squad screenplay, now that he’s confirmed to pen Warner Bros./DC’s live-action Justice League movie (re: DC’s answer to The Avengers). If Beall delivers an intelligent and innovative spin on over-used crime genre tropes with Gangster Squad, that’ll give more reason to believe that his Justice League script won’t amount to an Avengers knockoff.

Gangster Squad begins its theatrical run in the U.S. on September 7th, 2012.

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

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  1. Beall’s an ex cop. Even if gangster squad is good, will that really indicate he can write a good script about superheroes?


  2. Rap music soundtrack? really? Pandering is never a good sign. This could end up being a monumental waste of talent.

    • Hey, don’t knock rap music, a lot of it is good! Also I think the particular part chosen in the trailer fits the trailer well, which to me is what a soundtrack for a film should do. :’) Hey I could be wrong though.

      • Oh, I like rap music. Just not in my Depression-era period dramas. Dramas should be realistic. What next- slow motion Kung-fu fights in Al Capone gangster movies, to appeal to Generation Y?

        • it’s just a trailer though remember mission impossibles trailer had rap in it but never in the movie itself

        • >slow motion Kung-fu fights in Al Capone gangster movies

          I’d watch that! Imagine if Tarintino directed it. Shake your fist at the clouds all you want, but that sounds awesome to me.

  3. “LAPD Takes Down Sean Penn”

    Well, someone had to do it. :) Seriously though, judging him only on his acting he often chooses compelling, flawed characters. This movie looks great. Hopefully it will be more L.A. Confidential and less Mulholland Falls.

  4. Gosling the man! Can’t wait for this.