Suicide Squad

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SUICIDE SQUAD is an argument for pulling the plug: if this gruel for ghouls, effectively a carnage cartoon—devouring $175,000,000 to make, retching another $150,000,000 to promote and advertise and spitting back an obscene $745,600,000—is representative of where we’re at, we’re screwed. That $345,000,000 squander investment has only two worthwhile features: both amount to special effects, and praise for either is faint, considering the cesspool they decorate.

I watched this alone, on a pal’s big TV,  free to hit the pause button and bang a lamp against my skull to make sure the rows of murdered brain cells were not blocking arteries so that I’d croak before the damn thing ended.  Inflicted at a theater—after a half hour of commercials and action-film previews edited in a pounding blur that loosen teeth, volume ramped to F-15-takeoff level, surrounded by gibbering, screaming, texting cretins that look like extras kicked off the set of Mad Max: Fury Road—it would be as close to Hell as you could get without sitting gagged on a stool in a room full of Kardashians.  Hey, I’m a Guy, and I like mindless action as much as the next Gomer, but there comes a point/a line must be drawn/ reach for some pills/release the Kraken…..

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A half-dozen incarcerated, utterly reprehensible super-villains are teamed with merciless government agents and sent on a mission to wipe out assorted maniacs. Mayhem reigns, with boredom crowding for a space.

I’m not going to waste life trying to place this 2016 DC Superhero mashup in its relative order among their ‘Extended Universe’, but will confess that while I thought it was just a high-tech ripoff of The Dirty Dozen, a dive into “comic history” (in which we now have been consigned to live) reveals the origins of this crew of creeps date back to 1959 and the anthology comic(book) series “The Brave and the Bold”.  What I really mean to say is—I don’t care….

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An ugly assault that lasts 123 numbing minutes. It isn’t exciting. It ain’t clever. A real step down for writer-director David Ayers, who showed he could manhandle furious kinetic action with genuine, wrenching human emotion in aces like End Of Watch and Fury.  But here, things are clunky and repetitive, merely brutal for the hell of it, devoid of wit and humanity.  A waste also of Will Smith (why?), Jared Leto (a different kind of why?), Viola Davis (a shame), and other capable actors.

The blasting special effects are done with the by-now-usual finesse, but when you don’t believe in any of the situations they’re rigged for they lose the specialness that makes them effective. It won an Oscar for Makeup & Hair Styling.  Watching this crud spew forth, I kept thinking that it would be really popular in prisons, with gang bangers, crackheads and psychopaths. picture-of-suicide-squad-el-diablo-photo-500x375

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So if (some) assorted effects are done well enough to earn a grudging OK, what’s that other special salvageable element?  That would be Margot Robbie, or more to the point, the body of Margot Robbie, the display of and sashaying by alone likely accounted for 50% of the box-office take. Since she can act, and seemingly has a brazen Aussie sense of the absurd, her performance as the lunatic ‘Harley Quinn’ rises as far above the vile material as anyone alive could, but who’s kidding who?—no one’s watching this to see her act. If we’re going to have a DC Extended Universe, they might as well put the current sexiest thing in the universe into it.  You just have to decide whether you’d watch an entire rotten movie for the sake of gaping at someone’s butt? The answer is obvious, but it’s still a terrible flick.

With Joel Kinnaman, Joi Courtney, Jai Hernandez, Cara Delavingne, Adawale Akinnouye-Agbaje, Karen Fukuhara, Adam Beach, Scott Eastwood, David Harbour.  Ben Affleck cameos. Produced by someone named Richard Suckle. That’s for sure.

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