Well, that was a hot mess.  Suicide Squad is DC Comics' latest attempt to create their cinematic universe -- plus tap into the antihero trend -- but it winds up as a grim, unfocused disaster.

Following the events of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, government officials are worried about both the absence of Superman and the possibility a powerful metahuman may not be as good-willed as the Man of Steel.  Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has an... unusual plan.  She wants to take some convicted criminals -- both skilled and metahuman -- and make them Task Force X, a group who'll be forced to carry out government assignments, with blackmail and/or death the penalty for refusing to follow orders.  This group would be led on the ground by Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), who's backed up by Katana (Karen Fukuhara).
 For those keeping track, Task Force X is composed of: Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), the Enchantress (Cara Delevigne), and Slipknot (Adam Beach).  But if the idea of letting homicidal folks loose seems like a bad idea, it's quickly proven to be a bad idea: The Enchantress escapes and starts a world-ending plan with her mystical brother Incubus (Alain Chanoine), the group is given the assignment to extract one person from Midway City.  And the Joker (Jared Leto) has decided he wants Harley Quinn back.
There is so, so much wrong with Suicide Squad.  The movie takes far too long introducing the characters and is fairly fuzzy on their missions through the film.  As with many group movies, the characters have minimal personalities and more abilities/powers.  While the movie tries to make its cast likable and friends, they're still mostly selfish, homicidal, and sometimes sociopaths; the movie tries to make Will Smith's character sympathetic because he has a daughter -- which apparently makes up for his killing people for money.  The direction is disjointed and hyperactive, the action is muddled, and the result is a huge disappointment.  Skip Suicide Squad.

Overall grade: D-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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