January slouches on with the release of Gangster Squad, a bloody revision of the old Warner Bros. crime films of the 1930s starring Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, and Josh Brolin. It’s a good-looking picture, reports Kurt Loder, and there’s plenty of smash-and-clamor—car chases, gun fights, and brutal smackdowns abound. But all of this set-piece razzamatazz can’t obscure the fact that there’s virtually no character development, and therefore no reason to care about any of the characters.
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