In the year 2047, a soldier collects evidence against a shadowy government in this dimly-lit action film.

After parachuting from his computer-generated helicopter, Stephen Baldwin uses his handy staple gun to close a nasty wound. While walking around with a flashlight in a derelict garage, he finds an absurdly large pile of corpses, to which he says into his sleeve, ‘I’m looking at a pile of bodies here. All dead.’

He steps in a bear trap, and a mostly-mute woman in body paint unconvincingly leaps down from the ceiling onto his shoulders, which shouldn’t be a problem for someone with a freshly stapled wound to the abdomen. In order to provide some exposition, Danny Glover narrates throughout. It’s pretty dull.

Suddenly, Daryl Hannah and Rutger Hauer appear, dressed in vaguely-fascist uniforms, and they intercept an SOS hologram from Baldwin as if he’s Princess Leia. Hauer makes a creepy pass at Daryl Hannah, and she flips him the bird, which doesn’t seem like insubordination or sexual harassment at all. If this is what passes for making passes in the future, I think I’ll pass.

Michael Madsen smoking gif

After some ominous non-sequiturs in a post-apocalyptic toilet with a Germanic techno soundtrack, leather bondage gear, and more futuristic and seemingly random dialogue, Madsen smokes to generic nu-metal guitar accompaniment. Then he smirks for some reason, and there’s more talking for nearly forever.

The ‘death squad’ part of Death Squad finally happens at the 36-minute mark, although I wouldn’t call this ragtag group of thumbnail sketches a ‘squad’ per se, and Madsen chews a straw and Hauer brushes his teeth. Hauer denies Hannah’s request to be a hero due to sexiness, and I’m not sure why, considering Hannah looks thoroughly uncomfortable and weary, as though she isn’t enjoying a sleazy come-on from Rutger Hauer or she’s regretting her decision to appear in this film.

Lots of movie happens, including a near-rape from a henchman with what appears to be a probably-highly-regrettable-in-2047 Hatchet Man tattoo, and Daryl Hannah threatens to file a report. Words are said, and I’m not entirely sure what they mean, including the sentence, ‘When we want to die, we want to do our best’, and the phrase ‘death lullaby’, which is a pretty good band name. I’d go see that band if it kept me from seeing much more of this film.

Death Squad gif

A disposable minor character hallucinates a large, menacing creature, which is pretty cool, but very brief. The mute woman is slightly electrocuted, and Michael Madsen is slightly shot in the head a few times, and even he can’t quite believe it. The mute woman holds a throbbing human heart, and then she’s shot in the head a few times.

Who’s dead? Who’s alive? Who’s a hallucination? Who cares? Awfully talky for an action film, Death Squad‘s dialogue appears to be created by pulling arbitrary words written on scraps of paper from William Burrough’s fedora. Death Squad doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, feels months longer than a 90-minute runtime, and bores.

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