Bad Movies Beware!
What’s this, another SyFy movie of the week? Looks at DVD case. Nope, just another indie flick. An all-star cast is great for any movie, but it typically never saves the film from being a real stinker. The fact that an indie flick had an all-star cast was probably the only impressive thing about this movie.
Not that there aren’t exceptions. Independence Day, for example, was loads of fun and had a fully-loaded cast of people who’ve been veterans of the industry for years. But the thing that made Independence Day good was the quality writing and high budget.
Death Squad, on the other hand, feeds the stereotype.
The film opens with a narrative from Sponge (Danny Glover’s embarrassingly named character), who gives us the full info dump on what’s going on in the country thus far. Apparently the conspiracy theorists were right, and the government has taken over and driven the country into an apocalyptic nightmare that results in a war between the government and the Rebellion.
Oh, God. Is that a rotary phone on his desk? What year is this supposed to be? 2047?
Oh, and get used to Sponge being where he is. He spends the ENTIRE movie sitting behind that desk chatting back and forth with Ryan (Stephen Baldwin), who crash lands in Contaminated Sector B during a mission that not even the audience gets to know about until later on in the movie.
While wandering around in Sector B, Ryan meets Tuag, a native mute girl who nurses him back to health.
Meanwhile, meet the Major (Daryl Hannah) and Col. Asimov (Rutgar Haur). These two belong to the government military squad responsible for keeping the locals under control. Asimov is clueless, spending most of his time drunk and making sexual advances at the Major, who he has raised since she was a child at the behest of her deceased father.
We also meet Lobo (Michael Madsen), a militia gangster who works for Asimov on the down-low and has his own agenda. Asimov calls him in to investigate Contaminated Sector B where Ryan’s chopper was shot down. Lobo, however, is busy getting a blowjob from a hooker. When he’s done, he has his man blow her head off.
For no reason. Nice guy. Jeez.
He meets up with Asimov and the Major in Sector B, and they send in their henchmen to hunt for Ryan.
Meanwhile, Tuag helps Ryan prep for the battle. The two are starting to make googly-eyes at each other, and I can’t help wonder when the hell that whole relationship transpired. I mean, not that something can’t go down, but the writing of the scene makes it seem like they’ve been together for days when it’s only been a few hours.
Oh well. Suspension of Disbelief, I guess.
Ryan makes quick work of a few soldiers, but ends up captured when Lobo and his goons reveal that they’ve captured Tuag…wait, what the f**k? When the hell…? But she was just…
Okay, plot hole the size of the Sarlac Pit in Return of the Jedi.
The Major begins to see the levels of Asimov’s depravity and turns on him only to be locked up by Lobo and his men. Asimov tortures Tuag in front of Ryan until Ryan reveals the information vital to the success of the Rebellion. Satisfied, Asimov shoots Tuag in the face and leaves.
The Major breaks free and releases Ryan, but Asimov is waiting for them. He tries to kill them, but Tuag springs into…action…WHAT THE HELL?!
Dude, I get the whole “You only THOUGHT she was dead” thing, but she was shot point blank in the face. Yet another plot hole. Is this a movie or Swiss cheese?
Ryan and the Major nab a truck and head out but are stopped by Lobo. He shoots at the truck and kills the Major. Ryan shoves the Major out of the truck and watches as Lobo is stabbed by Tuag.
Ryan leaves Contaminated Sector B while talking to Sponge, and Tuag shows up to find that Lobo’s body is missing.
VERDICT: Confusion abound…
And don’t tell me to stick to Michael Bay flicks, either. I get this movie and what the director/writer is going for. It’s not the concept and meaning I’m confused about, IT’S EVERY-DAMN-THING ELSE.
The biggest source of confusion? The plot holes as big as Jackie Gleason’s naval cavity, for starters. No one in this movie really dies. Hell, Tuag gets killed twice, at least. It’s as if Tommaso Agnese and Luca D’Alisera kept killing these people off, and then saying “OH, s**t! We didn’t mean to kill them yet! We’ll just bring them back in another scene and no one will notice.”
Granted, it was supposedly a hallucination. But, even that was played poorly.
The acting was subpar, which is saying something considering the cast at hand. But they really didn’t have much to work with when it came to the clumsy writing. It was obvious that they were just drawing a paycheck.
Makes me wonder how much beer and pizza was offered.
This is a SyFy movie of the week gone so horribly wrong that SyFy wouldn’t admit to it even if they HAD produced the film. I actually saw Danny Glover at a Con not long after this movie was filmed, and I was wondering why he looked like he’d been through a hell of an ordeal.
No worries, Mr. Glover. You worked with what you had.