PG-13  |  123 min  |  Action, Adventure, Comedy
Review - Matt Mungle

*Now playing in theaters*

SynopsisA secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.

Review: Never have I seen such anger, hostility, and inner fighting before. And that is just among film critics! Many different opinions are surfacing regarding the new action flick, SUICIDE SQUADThere are basic things to know going in but once the smoke clears fans should be pretty happy with the level of entertainment brought forth in this one. 

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has convinced the US government to let her put together a group of incarcerated Supervillians to help elevate the nations security forces. Special forces agent Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) has been tasked with getting this motley crew to follow the rules and get the job done. And that job is take out a wicked witch (Cara Delevingne) and her Tut loving brother before they destroy the world. 

There are several unnecessary characters in this one but thankfully the main ones carry the weight of the action and dialogue. Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) are made for the big screen and are super entertaining. Smith brings a charm and sarcastic demeanor that makes Deadshot deadly but also human. His motivations and drive are at times touching and endearing. Quinn on the other hand is just plain nuts. But wow will you love her. Her dementia makes The Joker look like an alter boy. Robbie uses her psychotic grin and impish stare to seduce and terrify at the same time. But she doesn't go so far that you lose the comic styling. It is a subtle wink as if to say, "it's ok, we are just playing".

Davis is one of the most talented dramatic actresses of our time but she has no problem embracing this genre and giving us a ruthless agent that gets your attention immediately. She uses that same glaring gaze that we have seen in her past roles but here it  burns even deeper. These are the moments that the movie shines. Kinnaman gives us that gritty side he used on THE KILLING and less of the clean cut politician from HOUSE OF CARDS. I really like that guy and was pleased to see what he did with this. 

Other things that make this a fun time at the theater? The soundtrack which is a mix of some great rock anthems that elevate the personas of the onscreen characters. The costume design and make up pop off the screen when applied the bleaker grey of the scenery. DC is a dark comic and gone are the Popsicle colors and happy tones of the Marvel Universe. DC characters live and move in a different world all together.

But this is not a perfect film and some of the negative feedback is warranted. The main opponent that the Supervillians are trying to take down is one of the worst to attack a city in forever. Enchantress (Delevingne) moves like a spastic hula girl and is neither scary or pleasing to watch. Her back story is solid but how they flesh her out on screen is ludicrous. Poor Cara does her best but it is pitiful to watch.  Also I was a little disappointed in The Joker (Jared Leto). Leto has the skills and does create a menacing transformation. But he was too maniacal and needed a tad more controlled fury. Maybe we do not see him enough to appreciate what he is doing. Could be it was a set up for future films. 

SUICIDE SQUAD is rated PG - 13 for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language. Parents should know that this is a dark film and the violence and themes are not what you get with the Avengers. As mentioned this is a darker universe. Lots of fun though and one that you will enjoy if you go in with the right attitude. I give it 3 out of 5 pigtails. Quinn and Deadshot are worth the price of admission. 


Don't Think Twice - Review

R | 1h 32min | Comedy, Drama
Review - Matt Mungle

*Now playing in select theaters*

SynopsisWhen a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group - all best friends - start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all

Review: DON'T THINK TWICE is one of the most honest and candid films to come out in a while. Writer/Director Mike Birbiglia pens a script that peels back the layers of self confidence to show the insecure fragile heart beating underneath. Though set in the world of live entertainment the story crosses to nearly every vocation and dreamer.

The fictional film follows six friends who live, breath, eat, and sleep together as they struggle to keep their improv troupe flourishing in NY. They each have a goal of making it to Weekend Live - a not so subtle reference to SNL - and even if they are rooting for each other on the outside they each want to make it themselves for before the creative curtain closes for good. When one of them does break through to the big time it causes the others to examine their own lives and feelings. What comes out is not always pretty. 

Birbiglia also stars in the film as the older member of the group. His character Miles is a 36 year old acting coach and comedy writer who has the most at stake. He watches his friends go through personal and vocational ups and downs but their friendship, and comedy, is the tether that constantly grounds them and gets them through to the next day.

The conversations in this film are poignant and heart searching. Doing improv together calls for a level of trust and openness that few ever experience. This allows them to say things and express emotions that would be uncomfortable for most. It is often brutal and you get the feeling that it stems from inner frustration and envy. There is a bond of love but the pressure of success is causing tiny fissures that could burst open at any moment. 

The cast (Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci,Tami Sagher, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Gethard)  is hilarious in spite of the films many dramatic moments. They poke fun at each other without ever making fun. Again there is a common thread that allows for this type of banter. What may sound mean is received, except for a few occasions, with love. 

DON'T THINK TWICE is a film all young adults should see. Most will draw from it perspective and soul searching concepts. The characters are likable and the friendship believable. It is rated R for language and some drug use. It is not crude and nothing is spoken for the sake of shock or attention. It is real dialogue from real people. It feels more like a documentary and you often forget you are watching a fictional group. I give it 4 out of 5 bad days. Don't think twice about seeing it. Ok, yes I did that. I am sorry.