1/27/2017

Death Squad (2014)

Death Squad (2014)- * *

Directed by: Alessandro Capone

Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, Neva Leoni, Danny Glover and Michael Madsen









It appears that sometime in the year 2047, some bad guys called the Confederate Central Government, or CCG, are up to no good. Just exactly what they want is not made clear. The top brass at CCG are Colonel Asimov (Hauer) and Major Anderson (Hannah). A soldier on the opposing side, which is evidently called GreenWar (not to be confused with anything else that may be a bit more peaceful) named Ryan Willburn (Baldwin) is sent into some sort of danger zone to collect evidence against the CCG. If they’re so all-powerfully evil, we’re not sure why this is necessary. The man sending him on the mission is named Sponge (Glover) and he spouts nonsense philosophy and types away on old-school computers. Things get complicated for Willburn’s mission when he meets an Avatar-style mutant/alien/whatever named Tuag (Leoni). When the CCG hires a flashy mercenary named Lobo (Madsen) to do God-knows-what, chaos breaks loose. Apparently chaos can be quite boring. Anyway, will Ryan Willburn and Tuag live to look confused in the dark again? Don’t bother finding out...

We’re not sure what this was supposed to be, exactly. There’s no there there. Death Squad is a  movie that runs solely on the charisma of the actors involved, and nothing else. If it didn’t have Hauer, Hannah, Madsen, and Baldwin, and had a bunch of no-name actors running around in the dark on the one set they had, it would have been complete torture to watch (AKA Albert Pyun-level). As it stands, there are moments that you think just may be entertaining enough to be stupid. Either that, or moments that are stupid enough to be entertaining. We’re still not sure which. 


Whenever Madsen is on screen, he livens things up. He has a cool coat and even his own theme music. This time, his attitude of not caring is entirely justified. The audience can relate. Rutger Hauer spits out some nonsensical dialogue and seems confused. Daryl Hannah is there as one of the Nazi-esque soldiers, and Baldwin was clearly recalling his role as Weed in the classic Dead Weekend (1995). Danny Glover does what we call a ‘sit-down’ role, though we think he stands up briefly at one point. There’s even what we call the PT (Prerequisite Torture), but this time it’s PTT - the Prerequisite Torture of Tuag. All of this should have hit video stores somewhere between 1998 and 2003. Yet, inexplicably, it came out in 2014. Audiences should demand to know why.

While, yes, the movie has no structure, it’s filmed on what appears to be one set, in the dark, actors look at computerized screens and say nonsensical things for 80 minutes, and it’s all doubtlessly stupid, it’s still better than April Rain (2014). That’s the tricky thing about watching - and reviewing - movies. Whether you realize it or not, it’s all about context. If you watch April Rain, then just about anything else, the movie you watch after that is going to seem good - perhaps better than you’d normally think it would be. Your experience is colored by subconscious comparison. If we had watched something really awesome beforehand, we might be tougher on Death Squad, but because we watched April Rain the day before, we were in a really forgiving mood. All that being said, it still tested our patience to the limit and we came away unhappy. 

Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett

2 comments:

robotGEEK said...

Dang. Thanks for the heads up! I've been eyeing this one forever now. Keeps popping up on Netflix and Hulu Plus. LOL. I was mainly curious because of the cast.

Ty said...

We were too, the cast got us sucked in, but it was a weak, confusing and downright silly movie. Except for Madsen's character. Some people like Baldwin and especially Glover don't pull their weight like you might think.