Tag Archives: jared leto

‘Suicide Squad’ Wastes Cast in Bland CGI Romp

Suicide_Squad_(film)_PosterIf nothing else it’s nice to see Will Smith having fun in a big budget blockbuster again.

“Suicide Squad” is the third entry into the DC Extended Universe and takes place after the events of this year’s “Batman v Superman.” David Ayer writes and directs as Will Smith and Margot Robbie star as members of a group of villains hired by the government to take out a threat in exchange for reduced jail sentences. Jared Leto and Viola Davis also star.


Like everyone else who has access to the internet, I enjoyed the series of trailers for this film (usually set to Queen songs) and the idea of antiheroes being the focal point of a film seemed fun. Plus I love David Ayer’s “End of Watch” and “Fury,” so I really thought this would be the first official good film of the DC Universe. I thought…


“Suicide Squad” is a frustrating film to say the least. Much like the first two installments of the DC series, “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman,” there are nuggets of greatness in this. Will Smith and Margot Robbie are having a ball playing psychotic killers (one much less sane than the other) and Jared Leto ‘s Joker makes me excited for where he could take the role in future Batman films (even though he’s a glorified cameo here). However these fun characters are lost in a muddled cloud of CGI action and an unfocused narrative.


Like I said, Smith and Robbie and really the whole cast do fine work. Some performances are better than others (or more audible, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc mumbles everything) but overall these are all interesting characters that even if we aren’t quite emotionally attached to, still root for.


It would have been so much more rewarding if we had gotten some of these characters in previous films before they had to team up, but because DC is in overdrive to catch up with Marvel we don’t get that luxury. Instead we get forced (and sometimes awkward) exposition-by-file reading, and it’s just a rushed intro.


The film has a very simple plot, it’s essentially a rescue mission with a doomsday clock, and yet I had no idea what the actual hell was going on half the time. The villain of this film is a witch and her ancient demon brother and they want to create a portal to do…something (?) I really couldn’t tell you, the film actually never discloses her plan besides “rule humans” and “create a zombie army.”


Oh, and I’ll just congratulate Cara Delevingne on her Razzie win now because her performance as the witch is so laughably atrocious that every time she opens her mouth it detracts from the film and makes the scene and any dramatic heft that had been building impossible to take seriously.


I wanted to like “Suicide Squad,” I really did. But it is so inconsistent and so frustratingly bland that I cannot recommend it be viewed for $10. If you catch it on TV in six months then sure, give it a view for Robbie and Will, but it is a huge letdown and yet another stumble for the DC Universe and Warner Bros.


Critics Rating: 5/10


Warner Bros.

Buy Into ‘Dallas Buyers Club’


            It seems every year there is a performance from an actor that transcends dedication. They immerse themselves into the character, often involving physical appearance. In 2012 it was Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”, and he took home the Oscar for Best Actor. This year there are two of those performances, both coming from one film: “Dallas Buyers Club”.

An unrecognizable Matthew McConaughey is Ron Woodroof, a real-life cowboy living in 1985 Dallas, Texas. When Woodroof is given the news that he has AIDS, he begins to investigate and then sell alternative forms of medicine, and founds the Dallas Buyers Club. Jean-Marc Vallee directs.

McConaughey lost 38 pounds for the role of Woodroof, and his performance is as just as dedicated. He plays a flawed man, partaking in drugs and sex (it was the ‘80’s, after all) and is shocked when he is given the diagnosis. However once he comes to terms with his condition, he begins to fight the FDA and hospitals, whom he claims are only worsening the condition of AIDS victims, all while running his own drug-dealing ring.

One of the patients Ron comes in contact with is Rayon, a cross dressing AIDS victim played masterfully by Jared Leto. Leto himself lost 40 pounds for the role and it shows. But his portrayal of Rayon is memorizing and it is one of the more dedicated performances in recent memory. Right away we see that Rayon is tender and a lover of life, however his drug abuse may be getting in the way of his health and chances of beating the disease.

While “Dallas” rests purely on the scrawny shoulders of McConaughey and Leto, the movie has moments of genuine humor and wit. Seeing Woodroof try and get between the Mexico and the United States border in various disguises is entertaining, and the scenes where Ron takes on the possibly corrupt FDA will make viewers just as frustrated as Woodroof and Rayon. It connects with viewers, as we realize that many of government agencies that we trust to keep us healthy and safe may not have our best interests at heart.

The only flaws with the movie are the final fifteen minutes feel a bit drawn out, and the film doesn’t seem to know when it wants to end. It has several scenes where it seems to be rapping up, only to open another door it must then close.

In a career of underappreciated performances, Matthew McConaughey should finally get the attention, and more importantly the praise, that he has long deserved. His performance is full of every human emotion in the book, and we find ourselves rooting for Ron, even when his flaws and inner-evils come to light.

With two truly masterful performances from McConaughey and Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” is an entertaining and heartwarming movie, while at the same time being brutally honest, frustrating and devastating.

Critics Rating: 8/10