Starring: Danny Glover, Michael Madsen, Rutger Hauer
In the year 2047 the planet is ruled by the repressive Confederate Central Government. Ryan Wilburn (Stephen Baldwin) and Sponge (Glover) are two of the few remaining members of the resistance and Wilburn embarks on a dangerous mission to a CCG base to collect evidence to expose the oppressive crimes of this regime. However his presence is detected and Colonel Asimov (Hauer) and a group of highly trained mercenaries (and Michael Madsen) are sent to take down Wilburn and destroy the evidence for good. Wilburn’s only hope of survival lies in the hands of a mutant survivor of the rebellion named Tuag (Neva Leoni).
Or something like that anyway, but let’s be honest; the plot makes no difference (and I use the word ‘plot’ very loosely).
Sometimes the cast list can be a signal of how good a film will be, and though a good cast list cannot be the guarantee of a good film, a cast like the one featured in Death Squad is pretty much a cast iron guarantee that it is going to be a bad film. Of course I could be wrong; maybe it could be a potential cult classic or a guilty pleasure?
No, Death Squad is as bad as it should be, and maybe worse and further confirmation that all of these actors involved should give up their day job and stop embarrassing themselves by turning up in tripe like this. It is a film made by people who cannot be bothered and starring people who equally also cannot be bothered.
The plot is not necessarily the most important thing in these kinds of films; they can be good fun if they have decent action and likeable characters/ performances. Death Squad has none of that with a plot that is essentially made up as it goes along. This is particularly emphasised by the fact one character is a mutant and her powers are very convenient to the narrative and that the human characters (everyone else) seem to survive what would be very much fatal wounds just to make sure the ‘plot’ carries on. There are also attempts at science and the effects of the radiation from the narrative’s setting are supposed to add tension, but these are flawed from the outset and really make no sense. Also, the main point of the narrative is that Stephen Baldwin needs to get some ‘evidence’ to expose the oppressive Government. However, if they rule the world who is there that he can expose them too? Maybe they do not rule the entire world, but unfortunately Danny Glover mumbles the film’s exposition like some drunkard talking to himself in the street, so it is impossible to actually know.
The performances too are embarrassing to watch. Though the fifth name in line on the poster (surely these actors no longer have the status to make cast list order contractual?), Stephen Baldwin is actually the film’s ‘hero’, but just appears to be an old, comatose Tobey Maguire. Meanwhile his mentor, the bizarrely named Sponge is played by Danny Glover who mumbles the film’s prologue explaining some generic nonsense about a corrupt government that now rules the world (well, that was my translation). Meanwhile as snarling bad guys Michael Madsen and Rutger Hauer turn up to chew scenery for long enough to embarrass themselves. Daryl Hannah admittedly has a go as a morally conflicted officer, but hers and everyone else’s dialogue is beyond cringe-worthy so I am not sure why she even bothered. No one else did.
Unfortunately I bothered to watch this detritus. More fool me!
A film that is beyond bad: Death Squad could have been an enjoyable guilty pleasure of a b-movie but is instead an embarrassment for all involved, and hopefully the final nail in the coffin of all these actors’ careers.