“Suicide Squad” (Warner Bros.)

Jared Leo and Margot Robbie star in a scene from the movie "Suicide Squad." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (CNS/Clay Enos, Warner Bros. Entertainment)

By Catholic News Service

A lurid atmosphere marks this initially stylish but ultimately ridiculous and chaotic DC comics-based adventure. A hard-bitten intelligence agent (Viola Davis) assembles a team of violent villains (most prominently Will Smith and Margot Robbie), places them under the command of the military’s leading special ops warrior (Joel Kinnaman), and compels them to take on an evil specter whose campaign of destruction has forced the evacuation of an entire city. As if to complicate a murky plot still further, Batman’s (Ben Affleck) longstanding adversary, the Joker (Jared Leto), gets added to the mix, pursuing an agenda of his own.

Writer-director David Ayer film is barely passable while the action is chugging along, but scenes attempting to give moral shading to the characters — Smith’s career hitman loves his young daughter (Shailyn Pierre-Dixon), for instance — and bonding them as a pseudo-family misfire completely.

Pervasive action violence but with minimal gore, scenes of debased sensuality, a couple of uses of profanity, much crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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