Suicide Squad, C-
Rated PG-13, 130 minutes
The new superhero movie "Suicide Squad" is the type of movie that kicks up a lot of dust, but once it settles, there isn't much to it. While it certainly isn't lacking in energy or action, it has too many characters and excessively loud, flashy visuals, not to mention incoherent storytelling and emotional drive. In other words, it's a mess, and my friend and fellow critic Chase, who is a staunch defender of the recent DC Comic remakes (he actually liked "Batman v Superman"), may even be disappointed. Intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Figuring it has nothing to lose, the U.S. government supplies weapons to Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and other despicable inmates. Dubbed the Suicide Squad, the united criminals must defeat a mysterious and powerful entity while contending with the antics of the diabolical Joker (Oscar-winner Jared Leto). "Suicide Squad" will likely be a big hit at the box-office, but it goes down as another DC Comics misfire lacking in quality of the Marvel Comics films. "SS" is written and directed by David Ayer, who brought an edgy flair to such decent films as "End of Watch" and "Fury," but here any dark complexity is replaced by loads of CGI, explosions and a flashy, crowd-pleasing appeal. It doesn't help that Ayer's overly ambitious, muddled script goes awry in the first act, only scratching the surface of each of the Squad members, with Smith's Deadshot and Robbie's Harley Quinn both coming across rather flat. Leto's The Joker, who has received the most advance hype, is the biggest disappointment here: it's a tiny supporting role that isn't well-integrated into the story and worst of all, it's misplayed as a hammy James Cagney-Depression Era Gangster who lacks the dark complexity of Heath Ledger or the fun of Jack Nicholson. There wasn't a single one of these characters I really felt attached to (Cara Delevingne's villain Enchantress in particular is a total waste), though the one who comes closest to etching out a real character is Jay Hernandez's memorable, fire-conjuring El Diablo, who feels genuinely conflicted about having and using his special powers. "Suicide Squad" could've been sharp, smart and gritty, but is instead loud, forgettable and vapid, and could see a tumble financially after its first week, in the same manner as DC's own "Batman v Superman." One good thing is its soundtrack, filled with a few original tunes but mostly classic tunes from The Rolling Stones to Eminem, all of which provide more pop than the movie itself.