CBFU From the Cinema: “Suicide Squad”

suicide squad

A fantastic summer movie. Great cast playing some lesser known comic book characters. Fun & Funny. Thieves & killers who have to be good guys and save the world. And a fantastic soundtrack.

Guardians of the Galaxy sure was a great movie. So, can you really blame rival studios for wanting to tap into that particular zeitgeist? And that is what DC/WB decided to do with Suicide Squad. Did they succeed?

Well… yes & no… Mostly no. A whole bunch of no… And just a little yes. I have mixed feelings.

(Warner Brothers Pictures)
(Warner Brothers Pictures)

I have never been a huge fan of the Suicide Squad in the comic. I’ve read some books, but they’ve never really blown me away. A team of established, but somewhat minor, super villains that are forced into going on dangerous missions for the US government. When they announced that they were making this movie for their 3rd movie in the DC Cinematic Universe, I was confused.

  • How can you have a team of established super villains in a Cinematic Universe that is only two movies old?
  • Does the Suicide Squad even have a villain/antagonist worthy of making a movie about?

By having non-established villains as the leads, you lose any connection that the audience may have with the characters, and you are forced to spend time introducing them. And Suicide Squad does that. Several times actually. And that takes up a good chunk of the movie. Ironically, these are some of the best parts of the movie. I genuinely enjoyed the “origins” of the Squad. Mainly because they actually gathered a pretty great cast.

Margot Robbie IS Harley Quinn. She was a perfect choice. I usually hate Jai Courtney’s wooden acting, but he actually gives a pretty great performance. Viola Davis is amazing. Will Smith wouldn’t be my first choice for Deadshot, but I was a fan of the character and his performance. Those are the standouts, and if there is any part of the movie that works, it is these people.

Jared Leto was okay. He had huge shoes to fill. Heath Ledger’s Joker is actually one of my favorite film performances of all-time. I was skeptical about the tattoos and grill on Joker in early pictures. I still think that they were stupid and pointless… But his performance was good enough (don’t think he had to go crazy method for it). I can say that I enjoyed the times he was on screen.

Where the movie falls apart the most is the whole mission (AKA the majority of the film). The Suicide Squad doesn’t really have a villain, so the villain they place is just kind of there. The villain’s motivation (if there is any) is stupid, and we wind up with faceless (literally) minions attacking the Squad, while they open up a portal to… nothing in particular. End of the world. Generic. Boring. Stupid. The Squad’s reason for being is stupid.

Beyond that, the editing is mystifying. They introduce Deadshot & Harley at least twice. Where Guardians of the Galaxy hit you with great songs and let them breathe, Suicide Squad bombards you with music fast. At times, the pace is incredibly fast… Sometimes too fast… And then there are huge lulls where nothing really happens.

The movie doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be… Which makes considering how the “behind the scenes” of the movie seems to have went. From what I have read about the cuts they made, they really sanitized the fuck out of the movie. They took out anything that made the villains really seem like villains… Which is kind of the point. They didn’t want to commit to any one direction.

Now, all that sounds pretty bad… But is it the worst comic book movie of the year? No. See, Suicide Squad is like a comic book that has a terrible story but great art. The main cast is that great art. And so, it’s worth it just for that. There are enough scenes that I think are worthwhile to make seeing the movie (I can’t say the same for movies like X-Men Apocalypse, which I can’t say anything good about).

That being said, there is a major problem with the DC Cinematic Universe. It is the Snyderverse. And it needs to change. I’ve been a vocal critic of it, but I have just grown used to the mediocrity of it. So, I thought this movie was okay. I thought Dawn of Justice was okay too. Not great. Messy. Flawed. But okay enough to watch, and maybe re-watch. But the movies should be more than that. The source material is filled with incredible stuff. Stop trying to rush the DCCU and build something great… On the bright side, this is the last movie before Geoff Johns was promoted… So, hopefully he can right the ship, and we get great DC movies… Hopefully…

5 Lugos.

-Sam Platizky

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Clay Enos – © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC and Ratpac Entertainment, LLC.

Sam Platizky
splatizky@gmail.com