The trailer for Gangster Squad is an interesting beast—it starts out appearing to be a star-studded (Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, and Emma Stone) and sharp take on 1940s noir; then, around 1:30 mark, it switches gears and becomes a Guy Ritchie-styled monstrosity.  So what kind of film is this—an L.A. Confidential neo noir, or a Sherlock Holmes-in-fedoras mess?   Check out the trailer and see if you can figure that one out.

Set in 1949 Los Angeles, Brooklyn-born mob boss Mickey Cohen (that’s Sean Penn, to you), runs the underground crime syndicate of la la land and all things west coast, having purchased protection from the police department and L.A. politicians.  That’s where Gosling and Brolin come in, as leaders of a clandestine crew of LAPD cops set on taking Cohen and his crime empire down.

The film was helmed by Ruben Fleischer, who previously directed Zombieland (and which explains several of the visual flourishes in the film, as well as the presence of Emma Stone, a Zombieland alum).  While no official release date has been set, a full trailer (courtesy of Warner Bros.) just in time for the summer movie boom seems to indicate you’ll be seeing Gangster Squad on the big screen before 2012 wraps things up.

What do you think of the Gangster Squad trailer?