Sinister Squad (2016)
When a supernatural cult threatens Earth, Alice must assemble a team of fairy tale villains to face the literal forces of Death.
REVIEW: Sinister Squad is not only The Asylum's 2016 mockbuster of Suicide Squad, it's also a spin-off of their earlier movie Avengers Grimm.
At least, I think it is. It uses the same idea of classic fairy tale characters operating in our world and even throws in a few mentions of things from that movie, such as the Magic Mirror shard, and it does have a couple returning characters from that movie such as Rumpelstiltskin and The Wolf, however they are played by different actors and have completely different personalities than they had in Avengers Grimm, so even after two watches of Sinister Squad, I'm still unclear as to if this is supposed to be a proper spin-off or just an unrelated movie made by the same people using the same concept. In some ways it seems to go the extra mile to add in little details of continuity between that movie and this one, but then in other, much much larger ways, they completely throw continuity between the movies out the window.
If this is indeed supposed to be a connective extension of Avengers Grimm, it at least has a fun idea to run with, that being that Alice (in the Amanda Waller roll), who runs an asylum in our world, puts together a team of classic fairy tale villains to fight an even bigger threat (Death, itself), and I really liked the darker tone of this one.
After the first 10 minutes of the movie though, there's really not a whole lot that happens until the last 20 minutes other than everyone standing around in the same three or four rooms and talking, and half of that was near-indecipherable as to what exactly was going on and why, as everything kept jumping around from scene to scene with little sense or explanation.
It was fun seeing all these Fairy Tale villains in a Suicide Squad type setting however, and their various interactions with one another, especially this Joker-esque version of Rumpelstiltskin, which made the downtime middle section at least somewhat entertaining, and Johnny Rey Diaz as Rumpelstiltskin totally steals the show, even though he portrays him with a totally 100% different personality than how Casper Van Dien played him as in Avengers Grimm. They really should have had this be a brand new character, like The Mad Matter or something, as opposed to Rumple. It was also VERY annoying having cartoonish sound effects every single time Rumple did anything at all, even so much as blink. Like, unbelievably annoying.
While there are aspects I quite enjoy with Sinister Squad, such as the plot and especially tone of the movie, and some of the performances, there's equally as much that really really annoyed me, top of which is lack of care to the continuity of this franchise and those annoying as all hell cartoonish sound effects, both of which could have easily been fixed with very little, if any, extra work. The movie also drags a bit too much in the middle portion.
While it was fun to return to this Avengers Grimm-set movieverse again since I loved the first movie so much, Sinister Squad is still a major step down from the quality of that movie, and I can only hope that the next entry brings back the magic of the first.