It's a good thing that so much of this movie (Oooh…snap! Called it a movie, not a film!) was cheesy, because that sort of lessened the impact of all the blood and guns and constant shooting. It's also a good thing that Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin were in it, because their adorableness allowed me to overlook, somewhat at least, the horrors they were committing as police officers.
I resent being manipulated into cheering for actions of which I cannot approve and which I cannot condone. This happens all the time in Hollywood movies: vigilantes, police breaking free of the constraints of the rules that "tie their hands" and the like. Yes, it's just a movie, but somehow it makes us all a little more accepting of those excesses and our collective reactions to these things happening in real life are not as strong and reasoned as they ought to be.
One of the characters even asks his squad boss at one point to explain the difference between the gangsters and this squad of off-the-books, no names, no badges cops, because he's having trouble figuring out what it might be. I guess that's why he is the member of the squad who – last-minute spoiler alert! – ends up dying first. No one else seems to have those pangs of conscience so the nod to procedure of the arrest warrant for the main gangster unfurls in a scene of mass murder by our heroes. They might have been said to be acting in self-defence but for the fact that they fire first. *Sigh*
All would be forgiven for Ryan Gosling, of course, as long as he would flirt with me like he generally flirts with the female leads in all of his movies. The banter and the attitude don't change much, but I never seem to tire of them. I'm just that shallow. He also looks fabulous in contemporary or period costumes and this is no exception. We get to see him looking most suave indeed in suits and fedoras, but also one little scene of what we can assume is sleepwear, if not the sleepwear he might be prescribed in my house. And look how lovely Emma Stone looks! (She's the one he's practicing on in preparation for meeting me in a classy bar.)
The chief cop-vigilante is played by Josh Brolin. I chose this picture from when he appeared on The Daily Show over his own suave suited and fedora-ed look for some reason…now what might it have been? Actually more interesting as a character is his wife, who smartly chooses the members of this illicit squad of police officers as she pores over the personnel files her husband has left out on the kitchen table. This, of course, is recommended practice for confidential files.
Some other stars of the show I found appealing are actually things that I don't usually find appealing. The cars! There's something elegant about these no doubt horribly gas-guzzling automobiles that I was really drawn to throughout the film. I felt bad when they crashed or got shot full of holes, although I am sure they are as likely to have had stunt doubles as the living breathing actors.
The final thing I am glad of in tonight's cinematic experience is that it was cheap(er) Tuesday, so we paid a lot less for it. Being very ancient, I recall with some clarity $2 Tuesdays, but even so, $6.50 Tuesday is not so bad. The downside of the cheapness in comparison to other nights is the crowding of the room, which makes occupying an extra seat (the coat chair) especially challenging. If we had been self-servingly religious, we would have prayed for the lights to go down quickly for our coat chair to escape the notice of late arrivals, but as it was we were lucky and just avoided any inquiring looks.
After all, when it's -20° C outside before taking into account the wind chill, the outerwear that becomes necessary really needs its own seat. This rule breaking on my part doesn't really phase me when stacked up against all the murdering that was going on in front of me on the screen.