Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Suicide Squad

What a bunch of A-holes...wait.
Once upon a time, Marvel Studios released a movie called Guardians of the Galaxy, which starred a team made up of Marvel's lesser known characters to the non-comic reading public. Despite a lack of name recognizable characters, the film proved to be a wild success with it's lovable cast of excellently portrayed roguish anti-heroes, a fantastic old-timey pop music filled soundtrack cleverly woven into the plot of the movie itself, and a sense of fun and comedy while also developing each character and making you care about them to the point that the thought of a raccoon or living tree dying at the end would result in you needing to speak with a grief counselor. Well the folks over a WB took one look at that movie and said "OH YEAH, WELL WE HAVE OUR OWN ANTIHERO SUPER-TEAM NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD OF AND IT'LL BE SOOOOO MUCH BETTER" thus Suicide Squad was announced, followed by two years of practically daily barrages of "leaked images", hype-mongering, childish anti-Marvel rhetoric from the creative teams, and hourly updates on Jared Leto's method antics such as sending sex-beads and dead animals to his co-stars (because Joker AMIRITE). Sarcasm aside, I do appreciate attempts from the Big Two to bring their lesser known properties into the public eye since it usually results in more stories with these characters and teams being told across multiple forms of media, and after the second trailer for Suicide Squad dropped I was immediately in, because god knows this "DC Cinematic Universe" could use something that remembers it's about a bunch of people in fabulous costumes punching other people in fabulous costumes, instead of invoking more 9/11 imagery and pretentiously spouting off lines as if written by a dissatisfied high school student who just read Paradise Lost.

In the aftermath of Doomsday's rampage and battle with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the world is beginning to worry about the increasing amount of meta-humans and monstrosities that are arising; one particular contigency proposed from intelligence operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is Task Force X, a group of detained supervillains to act as a disposable black-ops team used in high risk operations with the promise of reduced prison sentences and special privileges, earning them the nickname The Suicide Squad. However the situation immediately turns critical when Dr. June Moon (Cara Delevingne), an archelogist possessed by an ancient witch known as the Enchantress escapes and begins plotting to take revenge on the world for her imprisonment. The group, led by Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and consisting of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), El Diablo (Chato Santana), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) must survive their first mission despite the crushing odds, as well as each other.

The comparison to Guardians of the Galaxy is inevitable given that it's a comic-based movie about a bunch of anti-heroes learning to come together and learn the value and power of friendship and family and love and all that good stuff, in fact Suicide Squad practically follows the movie beat-for-beat...minus the presence of an incredibly pointless subplot starring everyone's favorite overhyped "method actor" Jared Leto and his derivitive, underwhelming performance as The Joker, best described as if Heath Ledger's Joker joined a South American drug cartel, whom appears in roughly four five minute scenes, all of which having nothing to do with the main plot and, like Wonder Woman in BvS, serve as little more than hype building for the "DC Cinematic Universe" to come in a few years. And speaking of underwhelming performances, that about sums up the acting here; granted Margot Robbie is practically perfect as Harley Quinn and Viola Davis brings Amanda Waller on-screen with an unrivaled intimidation factor, but everyone else just seems to exist and nothing more, even Will Smith who brings on his usual heavy dose of charisma is completely indistinguishable from any other Will Smith role in recent memory (After Earth not withstanding, but that's a completely different subject).

Margot Robbie has gotta have the worst chafing EVER after all that time in those hot-pants

 The sad thing is that none of these actors are bad, in fact they actually do have decent chemistry with each other, Suicide Squad is just an example of how bad writing can drag down a bunch of good, even great actors when they either don't know how to deliver the line, or when it's just so cringe-worthy that, no matter the delivery, the end product alway remains painful. Fortunately the sense of pretense and trailer speak constantly heard in Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of  Justice is gone in favor of an unending barrage of quips and one-liners more worthy of the Schumacher era of Batman, maybe not quite Ahnold levels of cringe-worthy, but TLJ as Two-Face levels at it's worst. While we're on the subject of villains, the Enchantress is one part lame CGI-fest, and one part hokey Power Rangers-esque villain (complete with an endless supply of Putties) minus any sense of irony or self-awareness; though she does show promise early on in the movie as this creepy quiet figure, she quickly 180s on that, going full-blown Rita Repulsa and spending the rest of the film disco-dancing the doom of the world into existence.

Nitpick, why doesn't she use her hammer? That bat should break after one good crack on someone's skull! Also, Jesus those hot-pants! It's like they're TRYING to tunnel up her backside!
Also like Guardians of the Galaxy, Suicide Squad is indeed a very entertaining movie, if anything boredom is rarely afoot here with it's excellent (if not nearly as well implemented) pop-music centric soundtrack, and a genuine sense of madcap fun in almost every scene, particularly when Harley is center-shot. Action sequences are quite numerous and quite thrilling...when you can see them; I don't know why, but it seems in all of the DC Cinematic Universe films, it is editorially mandated that every single climactic fight scene always feels like a combination of an earthquake and violent lightning storm, which proves especially true here during the final battle with the Enchantress when I had given up entirely on being able to tell what exactly is going on, though I indeed did really want to know but just couldn't comprehend thus hurting the quality of the movie's colorful mise-en-scène. Not helping this matter is the film's horrendous editing job; now when it comes to editing appreciation such as critiquing shots and cuts, I am woefully ignorant and uneducated...which should speak volumes considering this movie's editing made me want to pull my hair out. Continuity errors abound in a horribly noticeable manner and the cuts are so rapid fire that the cuts cut into each other rapid-fire leading to absolute chaos (not the good kind) and leads me to wonder what things looked like before the eight million dollars in reshoots.

12 minutes tops, gets 2nd billing...over Harley...the one people are really here to see.
Now, let me be frank, I did enjoy parts of this movie, and if the DC Cinematic Universe winds up taking a turn towards this tone of movie, I would be quite happy. However in terms of overall quality, this movie is not good, at all. It is the cinematic equivalent of a basket of Buffalo Wild Wings, they took way too long to make it, yet it's poorly made and horrible for you, plus the dudebro atmosphere is making you a bit uncomfortable, but it does make you happy while eat it, until you digest it resulting in some rather nasty after-effects. But if that sounds like something you'd enjoy then have at it, just don't come over and use MY bathroom afterward!


  • It's fun
  • Margot Robbie and Viola Davis are excellent
  • Great (if very eccletic) soundtrack

  • The writing
  • The editing
  • The bad CGI
  • The villain
  • The pointless overhyped Joker subplot
  • The psychotic fanbase making petitions to shut review hubs

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