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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a skunk blast to the face for those of us looking for a fun superhero movie earlier this year. Well, Suicide Squad looked like a fine chance for DC Comics movies to get back on the right track. With David Ayer (Fury, End of Watch) at the helm, and a cast including Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie, Suicide Squad had the potential to be a fun blast of movie mischief.

Sadly, Suicide Squad does nothing to improve the summer blockbuster season. In fact, it is the equivalent of a big, stinking torpedo of shit. After a first-half buildup that does a decent job of introducing bad-guy characters like Deadshot (Smith), Harley Quinn (Robbie) and The Joker (Leto), the movie becomes a spastic colon, resulting in that big turd referred above.

The script—if one could call it that—involves some nonsense with a government sort named Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembling a squad of villains to help in case a superhero goes bad. An alliance of bad guys is formed that includes Deadshot, Quinn, Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and others. When a kooky villain called Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) starts some sort of apocalyptic tornado in the middle of Gotham, the Suicide Squad launches into action.

I have no real idea what the Enchantress was up to with her blue-tornado dance show extravaganza; man, it’s weird and confusing. She’s busting moves on some sort of stage while carrying on strange conversations with those questioning her motives. The Squad has to fight mushy humanoid monsters on their way to the Enchantress, and it’s unspeakably odd … in a bad way.

At the core of this mess are potentially fun performances from Smith and, especially, Robbie. Actually, a movie that simply featured these two would’ve been more than enough. Other villains like Diablo, Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Fantastic Mustache Man Pizza Pants (OK, I made that one up) don’t register and steal quality time from the characters that are interesting.

As for the much-hyped Joker: Jared Leto is reduced to a few preening moments; his part is nothing more than a glorified extended cameo. That marketing ploy that had you thinking the Joker was a leader of the Suicide Squad? It was a ruse. Much of his role consists of texts to Harley Quinn letting her know he’s on the way. Then he shows up, shows off his metal teeth and tattoos, and runs away laughing like an idiot.

Considering the power of some of Ayer’s past work, it’s surprising to witness such a mess. Perhaps this disaster is the result of studio meddling after the critical car crash that was Batman v Superman? Perhaps it’s because he never had a script worth shooting?

On the red carpet for this film’s premiere, Robbie and Smith both boasted that they signed on for the movie without seeing the script. They just wanted to work with Ayer. Well, I’m thinking Robbie and Smith should’ve gone against their instincts on this one. Demand a script the next time—and if that script involves a climax with somebody named the Enchantress delivering ponderous monologues while disco-dancing in front of a bright-blue dust devil, flanked by large humanoids with severe acne, run away … and run away fast.

Maybe there’s a three-hour cut of this thing somewhere that makes a little more sense. Or, based on the record-breaking opening weekend, maybe Warner Bros. knows by now that people will always shell out money for this crap, and quality is of no concern.

Suicide Squad is playing in a variety of formats at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

Dear Readers: The Mexican just got married to a chica caliente, so he’s taken her on a honeymoon to the motherland so she can learn the proper art of tortilla-making. In the meanwhile, I offer this “best of” edition, because I plan to do all of my work this week en la cama—ZING!

Dear Mexican: The last two movies I attended were rated R. Sitting around me were Mexican families with very young children. Why do Mexicans bring their 8-year-old kids to see a movie like Hostel? Do Mexican parents just not give a shit, or can they not afford a baby sitter? Plus, the Mexicans let their kids kick my seat.

Confused Moviegoer

Dear Gabacho: The only sin I see here is anyone forking over cash to watch Hostel, the 2005 horror turkey whose main claim to fame was casting handsome wab Jay Hernandez as a character with the retre-gabacho name Paxton.

As for your question, the Mexican refers you to the late New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, who famously quipped, “The words ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,’ which I saw on an Italian movie poster, are perhaps the briefest statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies.” Nowhere is that nugget more applicable than with Mexicans. Mix gore, boobs, popcorn and the occasional midget or gay guy, and you can occupy a Mexican for two hours. See, violence and Mexican cinema go together like refried and beans—it’s been one prolonged shootout that started with the 1919 silent classic El Automovil Gris (The Grey Automobile, which dramatized the real-life exploits of Mexico City’s murderous Grey Automobile Gang and included actual footage of their execution), continued through the urban dramas of the 1950s and various 1960s sci-fi/Aztec mummy/lucha libre superhero follies, and reached its zenith with narco películas (drug dramas) that Spanish-language television channels have broadcast without pause for the past three decades.

The Mexican love for filmic blood isn’t a pathological cultural trait, though: As any Hollywood executive will tell you, violence is a universal tongue that needs no subtitles. That’s why Mexican parents take their kiddies to see such films—as the children become Americans, and the parents remain stuck in remedial English classes, sometimes the only way to communicate is to speak the language of Charles Bronson. And the kid behind you? He’s practicing his Death Wish moves so he can kick your ass. 

Why do you people stink?

Zestfully White

Dear Gabacho: The same reason you don’t: hard work.

What’s up with all the elaborate wrought-iron fences in the Mexican parts of town? It almost seems like everyone is trying to outdo each other with these amazing displays of metallurgy. Is it just another way to try to protect the cars parked on the lawn and keep the livestock from wandering off, or is it a pathway to instant respect and envy among the neighbors?

WHrought Iron To Envy (WHITE) Guy

Dear Gabacho: This is a question that fascinates even sociologists. At “The Latinization of American Culture,” a weeklong seminar held in 2005 by the USC Annenberg School for Communication, UCLA professor David Hayes-Bautista showed pictures of wrought-iron fences to describe what gabachos can expect when Mexicans move into their neighborhoods. But you can find the answer on the United States-Mexico border, WHITE: fences. Miles and miles of American-made fences. Triple-layered. Jagged. Deadly.

That’s our introduction to American society when we enter los Estados Unidos. All Mexicans want to assimilate, so fences are usually the first thing we erect once we buy a casa: pointy, menacing bars wrapped with organic barbed wire like bougainvilleas or roses to keep the damn Mexicans at bay. And still—as evidenced by the lemons stolen from my front lawn every night—Mexicans jump them.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican