Trying to find a new reason to tell stories already immortalized by howard hawks brian de palma and others timothy woodward Jr. Gangster land shifts the focus from larger than life AI capone to his henchman jack Mcgurn a boxer turned enforcer who helped plan the st. valentine day massacre. Respectable period production values and some reconizable castmembers are no substitue for imagination in this flat crime flick, which steals freely from its predeecessors but offers none of their guilty pleasure thrills.
Embodied most memorably as a mercurial shoboat by robert de niro in de palmas the untouchables capone is oddly charisma free here played in subdued fashion by mel gibsons son milo. At first he just a henchman himself. Al is working for johnny torrio al sapienza when he appproaches mcgurn sean faris to offer him work. An innocent Italian boy who changed his name to gain acceptane in the boxing ring jack just wants to earn some honest if bloody money to help out at home. But when a rival gang kills jacks shopkeeper father ps’s homemade wine was competing with their bootleg swill the boy goes to work for AI intneding to find the killers and have his revenge.
We might expect this nice guy as faris plays him to have some qualms about what he gets into but character develpment is not williams forts. What conflict exists in the script is strictly of the they hit us we hit them variety with occasional pauses for lines like, The killings the violene its not good for business. working through a checklist of generic interactions cribbed from the godfather and its legion of imitators the script show a similar indifference to the romance between jack and lulu rolfe the would be model who became his wife. Lulu is jamie lynn sigler perhaps wishing she could recruti some sapranos writers for a script polish of all the action beats and tough guy postures it copies though the movie score draws the most attnetion compsoer samuel joseph smythe ownes more than a thank you note to ennio morricone for his untouchables score.
Gangster Land A Sidekick to Al Capone is The hero Of Timothy Woodward Jr.s Period,