REVIEW: Suicide Squad

Photo: Warner Bros.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

(Note: The overall plot of Suicide Squad is not spoiled here. When I discuss the story’s setup, it may sound like I’m giving away a lot, but that’s just because the entire movie has so much going on, even just sticking to the first act reads like I’m spoiling the entire plot. You can trust in me: I’m not.)

Warner Bros. continues their emulation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (while refusing to admit that’s what they’re doing) with Suicide Squad. It’s likely the last blockbuster of the summer — as well as the studio’s desperate hope of cleansing the palettes of audiences that felt burned by March’s pedestrian Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

What should have been a carefree offshoot of the main DC Extended Universe saga now comes with the added expectations of redeeming the franchise, an unfair burden the movie understandably can’t really handle. As a late summer piece of brainless entertainment, you could do a lot worse. As a superhero movie — even just compared to other 2016 fare, for that matter — you could do a lot better.

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REVIEW: Terminator: Genisys

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Chris Luckett

When it comes to space travel franchises, there are two major camps, depending on whether you prefer enjoyable entertainment (Star Wars) or a stimulating narrative (Star Trek). Both have value and contribute something different to the subgenre, despite their radical differences.

Similarly, time travel cinema has the Back to the Future trilogy and the Terminator series. While Back to the Future movies relied on simplistic nonsense like flux capacitors and “jigawatts,” The Terminator and its sequels have delved into time paradoxes, time loops, and alternate timelines in ways H.G. Wells couldn’t even dare to dream.

Much as a time traveller who repeatedly goes back in time to fix a single mistake could screw things up more and more upon each trip, though, the Terminator series has run amok, with a narrative so muddled by this point that it’s a headache to attempt to follow. Terminator: Genisys, the latest in the 31-year-old series, is of good quality, but cursed with the most preposterous and needlessly confusing plot of the entire series and an inadequate lead.

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