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Reviews for August 5th, 2016

Suicide Squad

Directed by David Ayer

      Federal agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles a team of Super Villains to help defeat June Moone (Cara Delevingne) and The Joker (Jared Leto). The team includes Deadshot (Will Smith), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie).

      The fact that Suicide Squadis overproduced, degrading toward women, shallow, dumb and overlong isn't anything surprising or new given that most Hollywood tentpole films fall under that very same description. A boring mess like Suicide Squad happens, though, when a filmmaker, in this case, writer/director David Ayer, tries (or gets pressured by the studio and/or producers) to maximize box office revenue by trying to please as many audiences as possible given the high budget at stake. By trying to please everyone, filmmakers often end up pleasing few or no one. If Suicide Squad were bolder, wilder, crazier, zanier, funnier, it would have merely shallow, escapist fun.

      Ayer makes the mistake of throwing in attempts at generating poignancy within the first act without spending any time to allow those emotions to be earned. The plot of heroes vs. bad guys should have been simple and easy-to-follow, but it gets complicated and confusing with poorly-explained backstories and awkwardly-edited flashbacks. There's nothing inherently wrong with confusion or room for interpretation in films as long as there's some intelligence and depth that come along with it. However, the heavy reliance of flashbacks is a testament to the film's lazy filmmaking. Perhaps with more irreverent humor, nore shocking moments, and a wittier, less clunky screenplay, Suicide Squad could have been a thrilling and exciting guilty pleasure. Instead, it's a contender for one of the worst films of the year. Part video game, part music video, and in no part any fun, Suicide Squad is a vapid, soulless, tedious and painfully boring blockbuster. I'm surprised that it wasn't written and directed by Alan Smithee.

Number of times I checked my watch: 7
Released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Opens nationwide.

Five Nights in Maine

Directed by Maris Curran


Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by FilmRise.
Opens at Village East Cinema.

Front Cover

Directed by Ray Yeung


Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by Strand Releasing.
Opens at Village East Cinema.