DC-Ember #96: Suicide Squad

DCember

Remember when we had Suicide Squad as our back up plan for DC’s Extended Universe should Batman V Superman fail miserably? Well, BVS did fail so did Suicide Squad succeed….well, let’s take a look and see:

Official poster

Suicide Squad is a 2016 American superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team of the same name. It is the third installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is written and directed by David Ayer and stars an ensemble cast featuring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood and Cara Delevingne. In Suicide Squad, a secret government agency led by Amanda Waller recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions and save the world from a powerful threat, in exchange for leaner sentences. By February 2009, a Suicide Squad film was in development at Warner Bros. Pictures. Ayer signed on to write and direct in September 2014, and by October, the casting process had begun. Principal photography began on April 13, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario, with additional filming in Chicago, Illinois, and ended in August that year.

Suicide Squad premiered in New York City on August 1, 2016 and was released in the United States on August 5, 2016, in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D. Following a strong debut that set new box office records, the film has grossed over $745 million worldwide, making it the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2016. It received generally negative reviews from critics, who found the plot muddled, the directing choppy and the characters thinly-written, though Margot Robbie’s performance was praised.

It feels good to be bad…Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

So, yeah, as I’ve said before Batman V Superman was bad, it’s not only this generation’s Phantom Menace but it’s the worst movie of 2016 so far so with those already set up, I certainly was not heading into Suicide Squad with a lot of real hope, seeing as how this is yet another studio interference movie where they reshot several scenes after BVS came out so that there would be more “fun” to this movie…which if you saw the first trailer for this, you’d realize that would’ve been pointless because the first official trailer pretty much made it seem like there was already fun elements in there.

So, yeah, I was going into this with the lowest of expectations and when I read the reviews, I was preparing to hate this movie, if this movie was going to end up as bad as I was expecting it to be, I was pretty much going to be done with DC’s Cinematic Universe, I had a long rant ready to go if the movie ended up being as bad as I was afraid it was.

BUT….much to my surprise….this movie actually ended up being a lot better than I thought it would be. I actually ended up enjoying this a lot more than I was expecting to.

Yeah, I didn’t hate this movie, it’s not perfect, it certainly isn’t on the level of Marvel’s cinematic universe but it certainly beats the living crap over Batman V Superman. At least this one knew that you need to also have fun while also trying to be dark and gritty too.

The action sequences, I thought for the most part, were nicely done and were pretty kickass to watch, they were fun, they were over the top, and they had more enjoyment value to them compared to the ones in BVS.

The cast does a good job for the most part, Will Smith was surprisingly really effective as Deadshot, Margot Robbie held her own as Harley Quinn, wouldn’t say is was the best Harley Quinn ever but it was good for what the movie was going for. Two franchise killers, Jai Courtney & Joel Kinnaman shocked the hell out of me by actually ended up being really good in this as Captain Boomerang and Rick Flagg. Jay Hernadez as El Diablo was good in this too, Viola Davis is really good as Amanda Waller, even the cameos by Ben Affleck’s Batman and Ezra Miller’s The Flash were pretty solid.

But let’s talk about Jared Leto as The Joker because he’s been all over the marketing for this movie, he’s been advertised as a huge part of the movie so clearly he has to have a showcase role in this…he’s actually not in the movie all that much….yeah…he’s in about maybe 10 minutes of the entire film BUT you know what, I did like a lot of what Jared Leto brought to this character, I like that unique personality that Leto brought to the role here and it definitely gives you a good sign of what he can bring to future DC projects. They really need to set Leto’s Joker to be the Loki of the DC films.

The bits of comedy they throw in there are nicely done, there’s a lot of moments in this where the comedy does work and it isn’t that forced or lame comedy that Batman V Superman tried to throw in there.

David Ayer does a good job directing the film as well.

Now, let’s talk about the negatives towards the movie because there are definitely a lot of problems with the film.

As good of a job Ayer does with directing, I thought that the overall story wasn’t all that exciting or investing.

The movie also wastes the chance to give Killer Croc more to do. For the most part, the movie does a good job filling us in on the backstories of most of these character through flashbacks but Killer Croc is just wasted in this. You have a cool looking Killer Croc, you’ve got a good actor here, it’s Mr. Ecco from Lost, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, he’s one of the more interesting characters in the series of Batman villains and they do nothing with him in this. He barely even gets more than a few lines here and that’s about it.

Speaking of that, the editing in this is horrible, this is something that has to change going into the future of these films because you can tell there were MANY things cut out of this movie when they did the reshoots…and you know that they are saving these for probably another R rated extended edition. Here’s a bold idea, how about instead of giving us better movies on Blu-Ray, how about putting the better movie in the goddamn theaters.

Also, the movie tries way too hard to be DC’s clone of Guardians Of The Galaxy, right down to trying to throw tons of older songs into the mix (granted, a lot of them are good older songs but still), they even throw in Spirit In The Sky, which was already used in the trailer for Guardians Of The Galaxy:

And just like Marvel’s cinematic universe, this movie’s biggest fault is that the villain in this is lame. The Enchantress ends up being the villain in all of this and I’m sorry, I know that a lot of people will disagree with me on this but Cara Delevingne can not act to save her life. Yeah, she’s a beautiful woman and the Enchantress looks cool visually but there is nothing about this villain that is enticing or enjoyable at all, she was literally a cut and paste copy of Gozer The Gozerian from Ghostbusters. I kept expecting Rick Flagg to keep calling June’s name and Enchantress to go “there is no June, only Zuul.” Also, the dubbing on her was terrible and why the hell does she always keep moving, she literally is doing the Harlem Shake everytime she’s on screen. I kept expecting to hear this over the climax:

Either that or she had Parkinson’s disease…no, seriously, why the hell does she keep moving the way she does in this movie? It makes no sense whatsoever.

Also, can we please….PLEASE stop treating Superman like he’s the biggest reason why the world is in danger? I’m getting sick and tired of these movie continuously having Superman be seen as the threat when there are FAR worse things to be threatened by. So, stop trying to make Superman the bad guy of these movies. Just a nitpick that I’m getting tired of. I hate that line “what if Superman were to kidnap the President of The United States?” Seriously, Zack Snyder, what the hell did Superman do to you, why are you turning him into threat? Hey, Snyder produced this too so that’s why I’m making this claim.

Suicide Squad is no masterpiece but it’s not worse than Batman V Superman either. This movie does a MUCH better job of showing what DC’s cinematic universe is capable of becoming, it proves that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that these films can get better with time. This movie did have a lot of things about it I liked, I liked the cast, I liked the action, I liked the comedy, I liked the visual look of the film, I liked some of the interpretations of the characters, I liked the cameos.

What I don’t like is the lack of an interesting story, a interesting villain, choppy editing, a lack of character development for some characters, and the overabundance of music playing. These are things that DC needs to get rid of in future movies if they want to keep up with Marvel.

Suicide Squad is a definite step up for DC but those are things that they have to fix in order for them to say in battle with Marvel. A good fun summer escapism entertainment experience but not one you need to rush on out to see. Take it for what it is and you’ll enjoy it.

As of at the time of this posting, I’ve not gotten around to seeing the extended cut yet so I have no comment on that just yet.

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One comment on “DC-Ember #96: Suicide Squad

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